Biscuits, Triscuits…

Experimentations in music with children
June 21, 2009, 2:40 am
Filed under: music and musings

I’ve been experimenting in music on my Ipod to see what is appropriate to play during school.  Here are my findings so far:

Joanna Newsom: The Milk-Eyed Mender

Joanna Newsom is pretty perfect to play for two-year-olds because she does not curse, she herself sounds like a child and the music is playful but not abrasive. She layers her vocals with either her own youthful singing or actually uses children, so that’s pretty appealing to the kiddos.  I’ve had a lot of positive reactions from the kids to her songs.  Some of them bob up and down or sway along while eating their cheerios.  I was unsure if this was going to be child-friendly just because she is a little bit off-beat but it’s really magical sounding and wispy which has proven to be a winner with kids.  


Beirut: Gulag Orkestar

I’ve been starting off some of our mornings with this album, but I generally start with “Brandenburg” because it’s not quite as booming with horns so it’s not a scary beginning to their mornings.  I’ve laid on the floor with a child just almost passed out on my chest listening to this album on lazy Fridays in the am, so I think that’s definitely proof that this album works really well with kids. It’s playful and melodic with lots of instruments so if they want to dance they can dance, or it’s just nice background music while they play with cars.


Explosions in the sky:  How Strange, Innocence


File:How Strange, Innocence.gif


After the crazy 30 minutes in which we try to change diapers and wash hands while getting all our kids lunches ready before they become tired, cranky hunger machines, a mellow, focused sound is what is needed while they chow down on their meals.  I put this album on the other day during lunch and the mellower songs worked really well. As lunch time ended and the drums on the album got a little hectic, the energy in the room also became more frenzied and it was time to put on our naptime music because the little guys started getting a little out of hand.


I haven’t had time to really go through and make a playlist of music that is really good for the kids, but I will at some point because it’s definitely better than listening to “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”.  I think it’s really good to play real music, creative music, for kids. It probably helps them in some ways with expression and interpretation of sound and melody.  More updates on experimentations in music to come.


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