a few days ago, the Paste blog gave us the Top 10 Kids Songs that Don't Suck (alternatively titled the Top Songs Me and My Kid Agree on). While I appreciated the list, which included gems by Dan Zane, The Polyphonic Spree, TMBG and Ray Stevens. I have to say that I don't get much kid music for our children.
Now, understand that we play lots of music around the house and much of it is kid friendly. However, I am reinterpreting what "Kid Music" is. Why can't we play age-appropriate, yet smart, well made music for our children that will educate them musically and keep us sane? As one that hopes to raise my son to be another Rick Rubin or T Bone Burnett and my daughter to be the next Aimee Mann (at least to have the diverse musical stylings, interest and taste of such producers/ artists), I need to start early, as I have.
I remember a congregant coming over 1 day in Boston while I was watching the kids alone. She was surprised to hear me blaring David Bowie and dancing around with my daughter. I told her it needs to start early to give kids the proper education so they won't be swayed by the ways of the world (of course, my great fear is rebellion in which they listen to Toby Kieth, American Idol and show tunes). This must include classical (my daughter loves opera), jazz, folk, a little worship music (they need some baggage), classic rock, standards, Indie Rock, New Wave, Hip Hop, Punk and World selections.
Last year I gave my kids a CD player with a group of CDs from my collection. I also made 5 mixtapes (yes on CD) that are on the iPod for their listening pleasure (in our house, this is "Kid Music"). As I worked on the CDs, I had a few guidelines. It had to be (1) good music on its on, (2) be musically simple enough for a kid understanding, (3) stand the test of time, (4) have appropriate lyrical content. The list had to include classic music and could also include some "kid songs" when done well.
Next up... the list (culled from what was already on my iTunes list).