Ask an adult what they think about “Children’s Music” and you might get an eye roll, or maybe a statement like “My kids love it, but it drives me crazy!”
My first question is WHY are you offering your kids music that drives you crazy? There is no rule that says you have to listen to Disney or KidzBop 24/7. Or at all, really.
I think one of the best things about being a parent is having the privilege of introducing children to music for the FIRST TIME. You have the opportunity to shape their musical tastes and preferences FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES. <Pause for a moment and let that sink in.> It is totally okay for them to see you rocking out to Red Hot Chili Peppers or Dave Matthews Band if that is your jam!
However, just like you wouldn’t offer fast food and candy for every meal, it is important that kids a get balanced “diet” of musical experiences. Even if you don’t like traditional children’s music, it IS possible to find music that is good for your kids that doesn’t make you want to gouge your eyes out.
- Check out traditional folk and world music. Music that has stood the test of time is around for a reason — because people didn’t get sick of it after hearing it over and over again!
- Give classical music, jazz, or other instrumental music a try. If kids are playing and hanging around the house, it makes great background music.
- Go for acoustic music. Music that is less ‘produced’ tends to assault your senses less than full-band recordings.
- Preview music before allowing it as a choice for your kids. If you hate it, there is a reason. There is plenty of music out there, why torture yourself?
- Ask a music teacher for recommendations! Music teachers are in the business of knowing what music is good for kids and can probably give you some solid ideas for children’s music that is age-appropriate and high-quality.
Some of my favorite music for kids (and people in general.)
- Putamayo compilations. Modern and traditional music from ALL over the world.
- Bands like Walk Off the Earth and Pentatonix cover popular songs in musically creative ways, usually without PG-13 language.
- New age artists like George Winston and Windham Hill artists make calming instrumental music for mealtime, quiet time, any time you need a little relaxation.
- Support your local classical music radio station!
- Music Together at-home CD’s. Really these should be considered “Family Music,” rather than children’s music. The arrangements are beautiful, the voices are appealing, and there is a variety of folk, jazz, and world music sounds on each recording. I am the biggest music snob in the world, and I don’t find them grating or annoying at all.
Know that you are in a position to offer quality music choices to your kids, just as you feed them nutritious meals! Don’t be afraid to say “No” to some music if it is making you crazy. =)