Music for Kids AND Parents

I laughed when I heard one parent complain about musicians who make music for kids to annoy parents. Take for example the nursery rhymes that we grew up with: have you considered how horrible it is that kid’s generation after generation sing about Jack who fell down and broke his crown while Jill came tumbling after?

Music for kids and parents

Music for kids and parents

I laughed when I heard one parent complain about musicians who make music for kids to annoy parents. Take for example the nursery rhymes that we grew up with: have you considered how horrible it is that kid’s generation after generation sing about Jack who fell down and broke his crown while Jill came tumbling after?

What about Rock-a-bye-baby? What sort of twisted parent would leave a baby alone on a tree top, and then merrily sing about the cradle falling, baby and all!

I can’t help but to add more:

Ladybug, Ladybug, fly away home/Your house is on fire, your children are gone/All except one, her name is Nan/She crept under a frying pan. – this imagery that reeks of arson sounds more like one of Stephen King’s horror flick instead of a comforting nursery rhyme.

And another one:

London Bridge Is falling down, Falling down, Falling down.London Bridge Is falling down, My fair lady. Take a key and lock her up, Lock her up, Lock her up/Take a key and lock her up, My fair lady. – Imagine what happens when London Bridge falls down? Disaster! And talk about locking up girls! But we used to sing this happily while dancing in circles.

What music is good for kids that parents could also enjoy?

Until about five years ago, my life revolved around music. As the Station Manager of an FM music radio, I had to keep abreast of what’s hot (not only in the music industry but also about trends and gig concepts) that would click with our target market. To be on top of the ratings game, you have to GIVE what the listeners want to hear. In other words, my job was to know what the listeners wanted and, if the artist or music is new, to predict if the listeners WILL want to listen to it. Basically, I would know if a song would become a chartbuster hit way before it even became popular.

What I have learned with my more than 20 years experience in the music industry is this: like our nursery rhymes, the songs that click are not necessarily the sanest of them all. I am sure you have a song/s that you have grown so sick and tired of, that you feel like your head will explode (or you want to go on a killing rampage) whenever you hear it on the radio.

With a child’s propensity at demanding to listen to his favourite music (whether it’s a nursery rhyme or a Hannah Montana song) over and over and over and over….ad nauseam, it would help if we parents could take part in choosing songs that they may like while we preserve our sanity. It would be much better if we would also enjoy these songs.

Here are my tips:

1. On lulling your baby to sleep, you may sing your (and your mate’s) favourite love song/s. You don’t only put your baby to sleep with good thoughts and feelings, but you also go meandering down memory lane. Leave the traditional nursery rhymes to the playground where they pick them as they play with other kids.

2. For background music, Barney songs aren’t too bad. Unlike the nonsensical “Jack and Jill” songs, Barney songs are highly educational. I would even catch myself singing “I love you, you love me/We’re a happy family/ With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you/ Won’t you say you love me too.”

Another great find (especially for parents who dig rock and roll) is Little Richard’s “Shake it all about” album. You know, that “You put your right hand in, you put your right hand out/ You put your right hand in and shake it all about…” I’m telling you, you can’t help but do the hokey pokey while listening to this icon of rock and roll. Go dance while your child looks at you bewildered and amused. He’ll surely get the cue.

3. For relaxing background music, my favourite is Richard Clayderman’s “Ballade Pour Adeline,” “Fur Elise,” “Poetic Sonatina,” and several others. While at it, you can also have one or two of your favourite solo piano artists. Word of caution though, these songs may make you feel extremely sad.

4. I would also like to add Johann Sebastian Bach’s music. For background music, the music of Bach have been largely associated by experts to the improvement of intelligence, verbal and spatial abilities, creativity, and memory. You will also benefit from this as music’s “magic” to one’s intelligence is not limited only to children.

5. Starfall.com has a great selection of free famous classical music that you can introduce to your kids. Their animated style is sure to leave your kids demanding to hear Beethoven over and over again.

Now, take that headset off and share your music with your child.

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