How To Find Your Family’s Rhythm & Harmony

What I like best about families is that each member is different. We look different, we act differently and we’re interested in different things. Each member has his or her own rhythm and beat. In a musical sense, rhythm is “The pattern of musical movement through time.”

I’m sure you have heard someone described as “marching to the beat of his [or her] own drum.” Usually that means the person has an internal beat or rhythm that is different from most people. It’s a statement about uniqueness and style.

We have many different instruments in our families. In fact, if you have a bigger family, you have a bigger band! But no matter how many people are in your band the goal is to always keep the rhythm!

Why march to the beat of the music playing across the street in someone else’s family when you have everything you need to create your own family rhythm? What I am talking about here is being in sync and resonant with each other. It’s how you keep in step and are melodic and harmonious within your family. And each family must find its own rhythm, the beat that makes that family unique.

What interests and activities are unique to your family? Do you like to camp? Do you like to rough it out in nature? Do you like to rough it at the Mariott downtown? Me too. One way is neither right nor wrong. But the interests your family pursues together is important. In order to maintain rhythm in your family you need to have something that is consistent, a musical beat that everyone can follow.

Once you’ve established the rhythm, the key to making music rather than noise is to make sure everyone in your family is playing the same song. When everyone is together, your family resounds with music and rhythm! You can feel it and others can see it.

The simple fact is that each member of your family, each member of your band, is unique, with a different personality and with different skills and abilities. That’s where style comes in. Here’s a question for you. If you had to describe your family band, what type of music would you play? Here are five suggestions.

Rock ’n’ Roll
Some families are rock ’n’ roll! Simple words, straightforward melodies, energetic beat and having fun! I’m partial to 80s rock simply because it was and still is the best. I love when my kids hear one of the classic songs from the 80s on their favorite Spotify or XM Radio channel, and Mary or I start singing along. Karimy will say, “How do you know that song? That’s one of our songs.” No, sweetie, that’s a copy of the original and yes, it did sound better in 1988…on a cassette! Is your family passionate, full of energy and occasionally loud? Then maybe your family style is a rock ’n’ roll band.

Some families may take a more serious, conventional approach to life. Classical families are usually tradition oriented, quiet and make a point of following plans that have been well thought out in advance. Classical music lovers may be a bit more conservative and probably have long family traditions. There’s passion, but the approach is clearer and more easily followed. How about your family? Does your family’s band style share a classical component?

Jazz is musical art. A jazz family band sees things differently. They’re the Picassos of musical play. On occasion, everyone in the family band may appear not to be playing the same song, but the creatively trained ear can pick up an underlying rhythm that keeps everyone together while creating individuality. Jazz makes sense to those who are open to spontaneity but may not resonate with anyone else. If your family is artsy and expressive, creative and spontaneous, you may have a jazz family band.

A pop family band is interested in things that are culturally relevant and that have lots of generational appeal. Members of a pop band display a lot of harmony and a dance party vibe! Fun, entertaining and energetic, a pop family band isn’t the life of the party—they are the party! Is your family outgoing, energetic and fun? Your family’s style could be pop!

Players in a country band seek authentic experiences that are informal and uncomplicated. They are generally laid-back and transparent and down-to-earth. Though passionate about life and how to live it, country players are very casual and enjoy the simple things in life. Is your family pretty relaxed and relationally connected? You may have a little country band going in your family.

Although I’ve spent some time describing five of the types of music your family band may play, the genre isn’t as important as the rhythm. Find your rhythm and then define your style. The two most important things to remember as a family are…

One: Stay In Sync
Two: Find Your Style

Which band best describes your family? Rock ’n’ Roll, Classical, Jazz, Pop, Country or one that I haven’t listed. (Our family would most likely be Rock ’n’ Roll)

Photo Credit: Filipe B. Varela /