Anyway, do I have to edit everything and screen it before it gets to the eyes and ears of my little one? What subjects are ok? I distinctly remember listening to a lot of Motown as a kid, but also a lot of Michael Jackson. Sure, he sings of love and equality, but also of sex, baby daddies, and being BAD. Or am I just thinking too hard about this?
Have I mentioned yet that unlike most of the readers here, I don’t have any children? Not even a dog. No mommy brain in any form here. But I do love kids (and dogs). And since I studied materials for children and young adults while in Library school, I actually have a professional focus on them. Why? Because they’re cute. And they’re funny. Especially toddlers who mirror -- and teenagers who argue -- everything you say. (I’ll bet you can tell from that statement just how childless I am, huh?) And also because I love the idea of being there to help develop their minds and enrich their lives. For me, this means through reading and education, professionally. Personally, I look forward to the day when I can introduce my own kids to music.Keeping that in mind, because I am not around kids all that much, I don’t think much about what music I listen to or what I say, and how it may affect the well-being (and language) of a developing child. But I’m sure most of you do. I don’t have to tell you that there’s tons of research about the indications of negative thoughts via media on kids, or that when your toddler is in that repeating stage, it would be a bit terrifying to have him or her walking around repeating the lyrics to the latest Eminem song. Christen has written beforeabout negative role models in music today.I also don’t have to tell you that there is “kid-friendly” music and programming out there. From the Wiggles to kids‘ singalong CDs, you are not without choices for those little eyes and ears.So as a music enthusiast, I find this a bit daunting. Does this mean that when I have kids one day, I am stuck listening to “Kumbaya” until they discover the latest Justin Beiber? (Something which frightens me in itself. People must really really love their kids to endure some of the fads the 2000s have offered up. Which reminds me - Mom, have I ever thanked you for taking me to that New Kids on the Block concert when I was 8?)
You can imagine my delight when I discovered Pancake Mountain. Basically, this filmmaker named Scott Stuckey got sick of current children’s programming and longed for kids’ entertainment that the parents could enjoy as well. So he created Pancake Mountain, a show for kids that he calls “an experimental meta-show influenced by children’s television shows of the 70’s such as Zoom and Wonder-rama.” The show featured “dance parties,” interviews, and features on musicans from modern musicians like Bright Eyes, Kings of Leon, Shirley Manson (from Garbage), My Morning Jacket, Ok Go, and the Flaming Lips, as well as informational pieces and just downright silliness. Check out videos here.
[Unfortunately, they lost their funding, but you can watch videos and even buy DVDs of past episodes. I’ve actually purchased several copies for baby shower gifts!]This has me wondering: what DO music-loving parents have their kids listening to these days? How conscious are you of what you play in the car? Do you make playlists of kid-friendly artists you also like, or just plug in a Teletubbies CD and go with it? Have you found any particular modern artists that your kids particularly like? And what musicians have you had to retire since becoming a parent? Are there any other folks out there like me? Anyone? Bueller?