My NPR Music Notes newsletter today contained an interesting article on music and kids that completely resonated with me. Entitled Bringing Up Baby, As Music Lovers Might, it speaks to the careful diligence new parents, who are passionate about music, take when selecting the music their child will listen to.
Being a music snob, I always found children’s music to be trite and belittling. Why do we have to dumb down music for children? Just because they’re tiny and unable to speak, doesn’t mean they can’t comprehend what’s going on around them. Turns out I was right about that. Babies can recognize surprisingly complex rhythms and are sensitive to the differences between consonant and dissonant music.
Hell bent on eliminating Barney and anything remotely like it in our household, I created my own child-friendly music program for my little guy, Judah – which has turned into a bit of a rock history overview in the process. James Brown, The Flaming Lips and Cut Copy were early favorites. Now he asks for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Duke Spirit and The Raconteurs by name. And I swell with pride every time he does so.
I know I’m going to catch flack from all you kid haters for this, but here’s the video that solidified my theory on kids and music – that they don’t need to be fed music through a purple dinosaur in order to connect with it. Here’s Judah, not even 2 years old, channeling the Grandfather of Soul himself. (He still uses our T.P. holder as a microphone to this day.)