Our Music Jar

At this beginning of this year, my family started a New Year’s resolution to listen to a new band or artist every week. We realized at the end of last year that we weren’t listening to a very big variety of music with Nova. We’d kind of fallen into an eternal loop of her same favorite songs and overall we just weren’t playing music as much as we wanted to in our daily life.

So we decided to try this to break out of our rut and devote each week to a totally different type of music.

Nova immediately LOVED the music jar. Each week she’s embraced the new music, even when we didn’t expect her to.

For our jar, we put all our favorites in (except the ones she was already listening to constantly) and then I took ideas on IG to fill out the rest, and we ended up with a huge variety. It’s mainly older music from the 20th century, but there are some newer artists in there as well.

Every week is so exciting. We let her draw the new name every Saturday morning and listen to it all week long. Her favorite so far has been Billy Joel, which is so cute. She loves “The Longest Time.” Augh!

If you need some extra music in your life, I highly recommend making your own music jar! Dozens of people have told me they’re doing it on IG and it fills my heart so much!! Pure magic! xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • We made our jar today. It figures the first thing my little girl picks out is Metallica, lol.

  • Hello, we enjoyed meeting you last week.
    If you are all still doing the music jar, we’d love it if you’d take a listen to us on Pandora, Spotify, Amazon, etc. we are also now on a SiriusXM. I should have handed a couple CDs off to you, I’m sorry I didn’t.
    Lawless & Mae (Jack and Rebecca, the painters)
    Nashville, TN

  • Thanks for the idea! I actually love this idea as a fun game at weddings. Guests could write down songs that the bride and groom have to dance to and then pull the songs out of the jar. If the wedding couple is not game, maybe you can get the wedding party to dance to the songs. It would make for an unforgettable wedding moment!

  • I’ve been doing something similar. I’ve gotten in the habit of listening to classical music while working around the house but I know nothing about it other than a few famous composers. So at the beginning of the year I printed out a list of the top 150 composers and cut it up and put it in the jar. Each week I listen to one composer. It’s been a great way to learn about the different eras and styles. For the kids I have a separate jar for playlists of different genres. We will pull one every few days when we are hanging around the house.

  • This is such a fun idea! I might have to try this with my music students! (Or maybe just by myself. ????)

  • This is such a neat idea! I often too fall into the habit of listening to the same songs over and over again. But it can be so refreshing and uplifting to hear new music! Thanks for sharing.


  • Just shared this idea with my husband and he LOVES it! Our daughter is three and I think it’s the perfect time to start. It’ll be our dinner music!

  • What a great idea! I need to start doing this too. Also, maybe adding different authors of books would be a great way to diversify, too!

  • What a fun and creative way to introduce your family to music they may not have otherwise engaged in – I love it!

  • I actually just thought about your music resolution earlier today, searched Elsie’s personal blog to find the New Year’s post, and read that. Then I saw this post went up, and it seemed so serendipitous! I really want do something like this with my daughter as well! As others have asked/stated above, I would also love to see all of the artists on your list!

  • This is so cute! Did you ever share your list of artists anywhere?

  • If you’ve never listened to Billy Joel’s Turnstiles album (from the 70s), I highly recommend it! Also, if you can fit a trip to Madison Square Garden to see him before Marigold arrives, I’m sure it would be something that Nova forgets! That little Nova is just too precious!

  • This is so awesome. Our son is 6 & I just told my husband yesterday that we should start the music jar too. Thanx so much for the idea Elsie. xxx

  • I think that’s an amazing idea! Especially for families with young kids as they can learn different styles and artists and create a more vast music culture.

  • I’ve been loving following along over on instagram, so much fun! Would you ever consider sharing the list of artists you ended up using?

  • That’s a brilliant idea! Especially the part that all the songs we’re hearing constantly…they don’t belong in the jar!

  • This is such a fun idea, I love it! What a great way to introduce music to Nova’s life! 🙂 ????

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  • I love this idea! I am in the process of adopting my husband’s kids from Africa, and I would love to do something like this to introduce them to new things. Their dad and I love dancing! I’ve been listening to the podcast Cool Playlist and it’s given me so many new-to-me artists to listen to!

  • Billy Joel is my absolute favorite! Danced with my dad to “Just the Way You Are” on my wedding day! <3 Nova has some great taste! 😉 This is such a great idea! We don't have kids yet, but I would love to do this with my husband anyway! I feel like we all tend to listen to the same things, but I love the idea of broadening my horizons and hearing something new!

  • I love this idea! I’d be super interested to see your final list of the artists you included.

    • Yes please! I also would very interested in the final list of music. Love this idea!

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