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Music and Kids

Posted by Kristen on March 22, 2010 at 6:53 AM
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029.JPGMy children love music. When Ethan was born, I used to play Vanessa Carlton's White Houses in the car to calm him down when he would start to cry. I would sing it at the top of my lungs. He would instantly grow quiet. Maybe he was scared silent. I don't know. If it makes you feel better, I would sing quieter when I got to the part of the song where she lost her virtue. In my defense, it was the first song on the CD and I'm a lazy woman.

With Nate, it was the ABC/Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star combo. I didn't even know they were the exact same tune until I was 30 (I'm quick). When Nate was only three weeks old we discovered he was singing along. You say that and people look at you like you are crazy. My mother looked at me like I was crazy when I told her and she's normally on her grandchildren's side when it comes to important things like this. I didn't care because I had proof. We got into the car to go to the doctor's office and I began to sing the ABC song. I stopped mid song and there, in the backseat, Nate made grunting sounds to finish out the line. My mother sat in the front seat of the car and stared at him in disbelief. It was crazy and awesome.

Now there is Mason. It only took me a year to realize he sings along to everything. He sings along to the songs on the radio in the car, when I play music in the house and today I realized he was singing himself to sleep when there was no music. He dances all the time. And not surprisingly, he is a fan of Mr. Steve. Then again, aren't we all? I think with a family full of Mr. Steve love, we'll take advantage of his visit to our area this summer.

So it's really horrible that now I have to confess that I am terrible at cultivating this enjoyment by my children. It has only been in the last few months that I have the radio playing in the kitchen in the morning. The second I turn it on to my Mom Rock, the kids all come and dance with me. The kids were in preschool last fall but now they aren't. Gone is weekly music and movement class and the kid songs with hand motions that build small motor skills. I know there is a reason for the Itsy, Bitsy Spider, but I don't know what it is.

I need to find a way to cultivate this love of music. I mean, I could have my very own brother boy band on my hands. Wait, that isn't necessarily a good thing....


Jess writes...

Music is big in our house, too, although less itsy bitsy spider and more Lady Gaga. My boys request that their dad sing Steely Dan at bedtime (from me: Men at Work's "Overkill" and Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors"). Also heavy in the current rotation: "A Fish Called Prince" (Deine Lakeien) and "Bad" (Michael Jackson).

We love YouTube and share favorite videos with each other all the time. A great, fun one is the recent OK Go "This Too Shall Pass" one that's a giant Rube Goldberg machine!

Jenny writes...

I hear ya! Music is to me as sunshine is to plants. I gotta have it and I came to understand long ago how my kids (ages 7,6,4,2) gotta have it, too. We started early with Mommy & Me kind of music then moved to Laurie Berkner and now it's a mix of kid stuff and adult stuff.

When MJ died over the summer, I downloaded one of my favorite songs of all time, Man in The Mirror, and looped it in his tribute. When my kids asked to have it repeated one day on the way home from school and then sang along word for word, I saw that I possess a captive audience and, if I bite the dust someday soon, they'll remember me for what they heard when I was around.

I've been making playlists that have a wide variety of songs with amazing sound, historical reference, great lyrics, etc. to try to secretly teach them music while we drive to school, gymnatics, Target, etc. It's working. They ask good questions and ask to hear more. Soon, they'll figure out what I'm doing or become too cool to listen, but now they just sit and listen.

In sum, I turned off the video games and movies, both in the car and house, and saw that space can instead be filled with amazing music that everyone can enjoy.

john mison writes...

They became silent just because they get distracted from their current position..

There maybe many reason behind this but kids always watch out new things very carefully!

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