How the playlist keeps my family in touch with my late father

In the last time At the grocery store, my son Jack asked me to play Neil Diamond’s “Beautiful Noise”.Most 7-year-olds require Disney or my world Soundtrack. Not Jack. From the time he was 3 years old, Jack began humming Neil Diamond’s hit songs.

This is not intentional. Diamond’s song is just one of more than 1,500 tracks on our family iPod. But I soon discovered that Jack’s love for Neil Diamond could be a clue linking him to my late father, who died when Jack was 4 years old.

This legendary singer is one of my father’s favorite artists. Every time he heard “Sweet Caroline”, Dad would join the choir with his deaf and mute voice, as if he were on the stage of the Hollywood Bowl. Now, when I hear that tune on our iPod — and when Jack sings from the back of my minivan — I feel like I have a heartfelt connection with my father.

Facts have proved that the use of music to strengthen family relationships is not unfounded.Research like This, published in Behavior and Brain Science, Showing that preschoolers form social bonds, partly based on songs. By the age of 2 or 3, children can reproduce the songs their caregiver sings with extraordinary pitch and pitch, and the children’s songs are more fluent than the language.

“Music transcends any age, language, religion or cultural background,” said Luke Glowacki, a professor at Boston University, an anthropologist. “It provides a mechanism to bring people together and help them adapt to a new environment and overcome challenges.”

Research like This is published in American Psychology Shows that music can be a powerful tool to strengthen social connections, even if people are far away. The brain network related to singing overlaps with the network related to social belonging and connection.In addition, singing along with your favorite tune will activate the brain’s reward system and fill the body with chemicals, such as Dopamine with Oxytocin.

The more I study, the more I want to use music to dig out memories and bring people together. My first idea was to create a playlist of my father’s favorite tunes. Whether you use Spotify, YouTube, Apple Music, or SoundCloud, most playlist apps have technology that can help you create playlists from a few songs. But according to Patrick Savage, Keio University CompMusic Lab In Fujisawa, Japan, you can create more meaningful playlists by talking to your loved ones and finding songs that remind you of the memories you shared.

So I started a text thread among my multi-generational family members, asking two questions: “Which songs remind you of Dad?” and “Do you have a specific memory of each song in your list?” “

Their answers revealed things about my father that I didn’t know. Mom texted that Dad had fallen in love with the beach boy’s “Surfing Safari”, and then tried surfing and failed (this is proved by the scar on his cheek.) Long trips. My brother-in-law recalled that Dad tried to master his “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” movement and almost killed half of the people on the dance floor.

I added each of these songs to a shared Spotify playlist that I named “Dad” and encouraged my relatives to add more songs to the queue. Fortunately, for a family where I sometimes don’t like technology, creating a playlist is as easy as clicking three dots to add songs, share lists, and collaborate. In this way, creating a playlist becomes an interactive memory path for the whole family, and it’s a dramatic upgrade from the time when you had to buy music, make a mixtape, and send a copy to every family member.

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