8 July 2011

Kids' Music

I have a confession to make.  I generally hate kids' music.  I don't sing "The Wheels on the Bus" or "The Grand Old Duke of York" to my children.  Their only exposure to those songs has been at the children's centre, or if they hear someone else singing them.  Kieran insisted on listening to Vivaldi a lot; it's only been since Charlotte was born that he's been able to nap without listening to The Four Seasons. They also like jazz, which is great since I'm quite fond of Herbie Hancock's music.

When Kieran was about 18 months old, I took him to the children's centre for a music session.  I took him because there were going to be people from the Philharmonic symphony there, and so I figured he might like it.  I was wrong.  Instead of introducing the children to classical music, they played some children's songs and had the kids use shakers.  Nothing wrong with getting the kids involved, but neither Kieran nor I were impressed with the music.  I think he would've enjoyed it more had they played some Mozart.

I guess my real rant is in dumbing things down so much.  Children can appreciate classical music and classical literature.  We grew up going to the symphony and listening to classical music at home (my father has the complete Mozart collection, not to mention all the Beethoven, Dvorak, Chopin, etc), and I love that I was exposed to that.  My father also grew up having his grandmother read Shakespeare to him, and I've read Shakespeare to Kieran.  It's the same with not dumbing down speech when speaking to children.  I don't change my vocabulary when speaking to my kids, knowing that they will pick it up as they go.  In the same way, I don't dumb down the music or literature.  Obviously we have a lot of children's books, but the ones we get are ones that aren't dumbed down, but are still fun and interesting even to the adult reading them.

1 comment:

  1. We go to a Muzik Garten class (for both of the kids) and while they do play kids songs (which I confess to loving), they also play a lot of classical music to dance to or sway to or be silly to. It's great fun.