Whether we do it knowingly or not, as parents we most likely try to influence our own music choices upon our children. I personally grew up with a playlist heavily featuring John Denver and Elvis among many other hit’s of the 50’s and 60’s. And I have fond memories of “performing” Up Town Girl by Billy Joel outside the school library during recess in the first grade. But how do you feel about your kids listening to today’s top 100? And what’s the alternative?
When I was a kid, and I’m not really that old yet, the only music that was made for children came on a little Peter Pan vinyl record or courtesy of the Wonderful World of Disney on a Sunday afternoon. It was theme songs and nursery rhymes with a few folk songs thrown in for good measure.
But nowadays kids entertainment and music is BIG business. The majority of music available for kids, especially in the mainstream market in Australia is very commercially focused and I think the line has been blurred between the entertainment and the marketing and merchandising potential. Unless you know what you’re looking for and where to find it, the choices are pretty limited to what the mainstream media has decided we all want.
But the music I’m talking about is different. Grown up bands and musicians are crossing the gap and have found a niche market where they can express their inner child and sing about everyday stuff like playing at the park, finding a bug in the garden or joining a soccer team. And they leave all the pre-requisite angst at the door that makes them a popular musician in the grown up world.
They appeal to both the kids on their level, with the fun to learn lyrics and the parents too by leaving their primary coloured glossiness at the door and adopting the riffs and rhythms of everyday popular music. The result is music you can really listen to, enjoy and sing-along to without developing a serious eye twitch when it’s on repeat.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is still a commercial aspect to this, no matter how much a musician loves his or her music, they still need to earn a living at the end of the day too. But I don’t know a single parent who would willingly put a Wiggles disk in the player if the twiddlies weren’t around.
All throughout May I’ll do my best to introduce you, dear reader, to some of the new music currently on my playlist. There is no marketing thinly disguised as music, or syrupy sweet nursery rhymes here. This is the stuff in the middle. For Australia, who is lagging behind the 8 ball a bit with this one, it’s so new it could almost be called the underground Kindy Rock scene. It is my mission to shout out to the world about Kids Music Month and try as I might to let you know that there is more out there on offer for our kids to get their musical fix from than Barney and The Wiggles.
Coming up during May…
an interview with Gustafer Yellowgold creator Mark Taylor, and Recess Monkey a group of primary school teachers who are rockin’ the class room with their soon to be released third album The Final Funktier. Plus some fun guest posts from our buddies across the ocean Anorak Magazine, reviews on the offerings from Lunch Money, the Flannery Brothers, Charity Kahn and the Jam Band and lots lots more. And not to mention every Tuesday during May we’ll have a cool new giveaway up for grabs.
I hope you’ll stick around to find out more :o)
Help to spread the word about Kids Music Month and get a 20% off voucher to use at Monkeytail and Wellington during May….. Click the image to find out more and how to claim a voucher.