Acceptance Through Music: Giving Children Emotional Validation With Song
To share one’s story is to share one’s heart. I believe, vulnerability and showing up as ourselves is the greatest gift we can give. Music has allowed me to take off my mask and express my truest self. My mission with Yogi Tales is to give kids that super power.
We are invincible when we accept ourselves and others exactly as they come. With all of our flaws, insecurities and all of our differences. I don’t remember exactly when my feelings of inadequacy entered my psyche but, they were injected like venom very early on. Feelings of not being good enough crept in and evidence was easily discovered. I wasn’t as tall as others. Wasn’t as organized. Wasn’t as stereotypically attractive. Wasn’t as masculine by society’s standards. Being different were constantly pointed out by my school and society. Culture is painted in such a way where it showed me how I was different from everyone more than how I was similar which unfortunately, i took as evidence of my own inadequacy. The poignant pangs of loneliness have forever been present in my social life. Music has always been the great outlier. Making it okay to be different. Making it okay to be whoever you are.
Children’s music is terribly outdated. It’s like sugary candy that’s artificially colored and unnecessarily sweetened. Adults are repulsed by it. Kids are apathetic to it. Children’s music teachers everywhere are deadened by it. It offers none of the benefits that real music offers (emotional validation, acceptance and healthy escapism) while providing all of the negative side effects (numbing your emotions and time with distraction!).
The music in Yogi Tales is respectful and mindful. It does not pander to short attention spans, nor does it stoop so low to dumb down the emotional intelligence of children! It’s unashamedly REAL. The lyrics touch on important topics like the insecurities we all feel, discuss the complexities of growing up, the need for acceptance, offering the validation to feel your feelings!!! The music is at times joyful, spontaneous, raw, and intimate. I think there’s a reason that a song like “You Are My Sunshine” has stood the test of time. It’s heartbreakingly and beautifully honest. The songs that I hope to write and have written already for every Yogi Tales class are aligned with this intention of giving children the type of music we all deserve! Music that is emotionally validating. Music that kids can sing at the top of their lungs and feel connected to. Music that they can dance with and cry with. Music that will give them permission they are longing for to accept themselves for their unique selves. Music in a class they can look back upon warmly, grateful for its melodies and lyrics still ringing in their psyche saying, “you are enough and worthy exactly as you are.”
By Evan Nachimson