While I hold a couple of degrees in music, I tend to stick to crocs, poop, and 'roids here on this blog. I'm no certified bad shoe expert (and not really a music one either), but long days and nights of chasing down energetic kids makes me less interested in pontificating about the quality of children's music out there today and more about the state of their
potentially dangerous ugly footwear.
It's not necessarily because I don't care about music my kids listen to. It's because I think music is extremely personal and much of it really depends on your own preference.
Granted, like food, there's definitely well crafted, exquisitely delivered music. And then there's some real crap out there. But who am I to say that your McDonald's hamburger is gross and disgusting? If it satisfies you and makes you happy, then more power to you.
Keep in mind that I'm a music therapist. My job was never to espouse the great aesthetics of a musical piece but more so about finding music that reached, touched, and moved people. And for some people that's Mozart and for others, it's Guns n' Roses.
And in my opinion, kid's music is really no different.
I've heard the argument that "kid's music" is all marketing, because really, kids will listen to almost anything and like it. In my own experience, I tend to agree. The appeal of these new artists that's appealing to both parents and kids is because for the most part, if you like it, there's a good chance your kids will too.
That's not rocket science. Just plain old parenting research.
A couple out in Seattle have created a new CD/DVD combo that my daughter and I have been listening to for the past few weeks. I admit to not be a fan of "no-story-line" DVDs (ala Baby Einstein) but as you might have guessed, both my kids were mesmerized. It's well done and while I probably wouldn't put it on for my daughter, it definitely keeps my 10-month-old occupied and appropriately entertained. Plus, I get a kick out of watching the kids lip sync to "Brass in Pocket."
But the music, which is what I'm most concerned with, is brilliant for several reasons, and not just because the singer, Stephanie Schneiderman, has a fantastic voice. At first listen, you might think it a bit one dimensional, however, keep in mind that it's a soundtrack for the DVD, so the songs roll along based on that. But I love it most because the songs are all ones we parents know and love. So, it gets us singing along and enjoying ourselves and before long, our kids are singing "Three Little Birds" with us in the car.
To me, that's the musical experience I want for my kids. To love it. To bask in it. And to not be limited by some huge purple dinosaur that just sings three-chord songs in some weird key.
So, if you play the music you like (perhaps laying off the Fifty Cent and Korn until they're a bit older), you're doing a few positive things, like exposing them to variety. You're giving them choices so that they can create their own palate or tastes. And while I do suggest you step out of your own comfort zone and include world musics, classical music, and heck even some country *gulp,* the key is to enjoy it with them.
Music is a shared experience that can bring people and families together. And the great part is that you don't have to do anything extra to make that happen. Just sharing the music you love with your kids.
*There's a really fantastic blog blast going on today. You can win a really awesome gift for yourself or someone else, particularly helpful if your husband, like mine, seems to think you're a 67-year-old woman with no taste).