Tuesday, April 24, 2012

"Kids Music"

As I have had the opportunity to get to know Gabbie, my fiance's four year old, I have learned that the average child is extremely lacking in music exposure. I asked her what type of music she wanted to listen to to which she replied "kid's music". Her idea of kid music when we first started hanging out was songs such as "I've Been Working on the Railroad" or "The Ants Go Marching On". These songs are kinda cute an catchy the first time you listen to them, but as a musician listening to this kind of kid's music is torture, especially listening to a whole album! Almost all of it is four quarter notes per measure on 1, 4, and 5.... Agh! I think I will have nightmares of Barney chasing me with a polka band for months! It is horrifying how limited this music is. How is a child supposed to grow mentally if they are this musically limited? This is molding a child that is extremely close minded, dull, repetitive, and has an extremely small attention span. So, how do we crack open the box and massage the brain per say? Well begin with the question of what good concepts is this kind of music built upon? There is a simple melody, a chorus, recognizable lyrics, a topic a child can relate to... What other genres have these traits? I have been playing all different types of music for her such as early jazz, new age, pop, classical, indie, Disney tunes, etc. early jazz is especially good to listen to gecause it has a simple structure, the instruments make cool sounds, the singers often sing about simple things or something a child would find funny. New age she listens to when we are learning or relaxing to go o sleep or calm down from a temper tantrum. It has been very effective. Disney tunes, a child can relate to their favorite heroes and their princesses while giving parents a nostalgic journey that contains a lot of variety. I have begun reserving the "kid music" Gabbie originally referred to for cadences when we are going from place to place because they are fun to say. She now asks for "classic" which is how she says classical, "the dog barking" music which is translated to early jazz, and other types. :-)

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