Children’s Music Sucks
I was scared to death of children’s music when my first was on the way. I didn’t want to be forced to listen to annoying artists who catered only to children without any concern for musical sensibilities. I like good music, and that is that.
I chose to largely ignore the kid’s music that was available at first. I would buck conventional wisdom, and expose my child to grown-up music during her transformation from drooling, crying, pooping, eating mass of infant to a more human-acting being. I’m not sure whether that was a good move or not. On the one hand, she’s not tapping out Beethoven on the black and whites, but on the other I have heard her improvise some pretty original, well-composed, melodic songs.*
We knew a couple things to play for our newborn, anyway. We naturally had all the lullaby renditions of rock music for her to sleep at night as well as those “baby genius” classical music CDs that would guarantee entrance to Julliard by age 10 — if we slacked. Some music was given as a gift, but that mostly sat, waiting to be played.
Once she got older, things changed, good old parental guilt kicked in (how much 90s grunge and progressive rock can a kid handle?**) and we found ourselves perusing the library CD collection for kid’s music. The familiar bands sprung out at me, and I could practically hear my future already: Raffi songs playing in the car for the next seven(teen?) years. “Bananaphone” on repeat; The Wiggles wiggling their way into my brain in their flamboyant Star-Trekkian outfits. How can the red one still possibly be around?; Barney? Barney?!? BARNEY!!! Don’t get me started on that purple and green demonspawn.
Naturally I avoided all of those and other familiar bands and picked up some music just based on the album cover.*** The first one I checked out had a simple cow picture on the cover and the band was named Milkshake. The cow happily sipped away from a cup with the words “Happy Songs” on it. “Good enough,” I thought to myself. We hopped in the car, popped it in the CD player, and I was instantly and amazingly hooked.
The music was pretty darned good. I mean, not like holy cow Clockwork Angels rocks good, but wow I don’t want to throw up and I can actually sing to some of these songs good. And that to me is the most important component in early children’s music, or anything kid-learning related for that matter. If you, the caregiver, can’t get excited about it, then there’s only so much enthusiasm you can instill in your kid(s) about it. That’s one of the major problems with children’s videos – too many parents turn them on and walk away, when it’s so much more beneficial to share them with young and impressionable minds.
But speaking of “another posts,” we’re out of space in this week’s installment of Dad Vs. Spawn. Come back next week, so we can share some of our favorite children’s music with you, as well as a few grown-up bands that have grown in the hearts of our families.
Do you have some family and kid’s faves that have been popular with you and yours? Share them in the comments and we’ll try to add them to next week’s follow-up. Unless we think they suck, of course.
*Tonight I was particularly moved by a rendition of “Daddy Smells,” which will not be climbing up any charts anytime soon.
**I listen to more kinds of music than those. I promise! Oh yeah, and it was always played at a child-friendly volume. Double promise.
*** Who would do this, you ask? Try me, circa 80s-90s. You know, before all this newfangled internet techno-whatever.