Friday, May 30, 2008

Music Appreciation

I consider it my responsibility to imbue my children with, if not appreciation for, more than just passing familiarity with, every kind of music I can think of (except Irish folk music). There's just so much of it, you see, and I want to be sure they understand that all they music of their time is just building on everything that came before it. I expect to hear Kate sophmorically denounce songs she hears on the radio as derivative by the time she's 6.

Of course they both get plenty of classical music, especially at bed time because as everyone knows, Mozart makes babies smarter. I put my "Mozart at Midnight" CD on for them as they bed down and say "how about...a little night music?" (I don't speak German). They are forced to endure jazz on Sunday mornings because Jeremiah and I cannot give up our Sunday morning ritual of coffee and jazz and bacon. As yet, they don't complain; I think the bacon helps. Sarah seems to like Dexter Gordon.

Both girls love to dance to the Latin beats, too. Thank goodness for the latest works of Ry Cooter. Not that his earlier stuff wasn't great, too. We have them listening to a lot of Taj Mahal for their blues awareness, though.

Mainly these days, we're focusing on the rock greats. How embarrassed would we be if our kids couldn't readily identify the likes of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin (etc.)? Very, that's how. The Beatles and Led Zeppelin seem the most kid-friendly to me. Actually, so do The Kinks. I find that XTC, Tom Waits and, of course, all They Might Be Giants is also excellent children's music.
When Kate was born I attempted to listen to The Beatles whenever I nursed her. Mostly because I wondered if I could cause her to feel both hungry and strangely comforted any time she heard a Beatles song later in life. This harmless yet amusing bit of conditioning might have worked but the kid just ate so frequently...I needed to change up the music. Still, she's taken a real liking to Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.

This morning we got in the car en route to daycare. I asked what she'd like to listen to (Sarah is still too little to manage to voice her opinion in this arena, except that lately, she's been asking for the 1,2,3s). To my great delight and pride Kate sang out "Let's listen to The Beatles!" That, I thought, is my girl. With a warm heart I slid Sgt Pepper's in the player and made a mental note to explain to her why I think Revolver is a better album.

Let's all get up and dance to a song that was a hit before your mother was born. Though she was born a long, long time ago. Your mother should know...your mother should know...


Keith said...

Revolver is clearly the best album The Beatles made. Then Rubber Soul. Then Pepper.
Oh yes, I went there.
Ro is delighting me with her exploration of music via iTunes. She found Petula Clark all on her own. I showed her Fountains of Wayne, but once I supplied the spark, she made it a wildfire.

Drunkle Steve said...

Like Kate, I used to enjoy Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds too, but I've quit; beer is good enough for me these days.

...oh yes, I went there.

FlapScrap said...

I made a disk for Maddy and Mason called "If You Don't Know About Doo-Wop You'd Better Just Shut Up and Listen." Doo-Wop is now a firm favourite at our living room dance parties and Mason, particularly, is intrigued with the photo I found of a street-corner a capella group working a trashcan fire. So, don't forget to doo wop.

Oh yes, Come and Go With Me there.

sunglasseshurtmynose said...

Maybe it's because I don't have kids, but I would think Abbey Road would be the perfect Beatles kids album. It's also the only Beatles record with good drum sounds. You can actually hear the nuance of Ringo. Pretty darn cool.

Brooklyn Volunteer said...

I wish Irene could get into the Beatles, like my parents did for me. She just wants her nursery rhymes and Mary Poppins. But there's hope. She loves Clash "London Calling". She loves doing the wolf-like scream.

Judy Pancoast said...

Hi! Please check out my website at and see if your girls enjoy my music. Better yet, first visit YouTube and watch my new video:

In the immortal words of the Beatles, I hope you will enjoy the show!