“Mu-sic/ Makes the Kid-dos/ Behave Bet-ter/ Yeah!”Posted: August 24, 2012
It has been said that the benefits of music are incalculable. Certainly in my experience, listening to good music is on par with a good meal, a relaxing drive, a beautiful sunset, and can recall memories of when the song was first heard- how I felt, who I was with, the happiness or heartache of that specific time. Music is something that can be universal, a shared experience with hundreds and thousands of others, or individual, with someone having an extremely personal response to a piece of music. As an ardent lover of music, I try to impart my enthusiasm to my charges. I encourage them to listen to many different genres, which in nannying terms translates to: we jam out. And hopefully this helps shape their personal preferences, hence Pandora and playlists which you’ll hear more about next post.
Musical memories with the kiddos are some of my favorites, and I recall them whenever I hear a certain song. A former toddler charge Jammer, who for a time I watched one/two mornings per week, was quite the connoisseur of music as well and was eager to listen to everything from classic rock, to musicals, to hip hop, to pop. One day I put on the Reservoir Dogs soundtrack, and turned it to George Baker Selection‘s Little Green Bag and 2 y/o Jammer went off! He was kicking his feet and flailing his arms in time to the music, just loving every minute, and I played it anytime we were in the car that day: on our way to the park, from the park to a restaurant for lunch, we were Little Green Baggin’ it all over this town!
Mr. Man and Big Cat caught the Cash Fever on my watch. Johnny Cash is an all-time favorite of mine, and the first time I heard either one of them, let alone both, sing was when they learned the words to Ring Of Fire. We played it over and over, belting out the words as we drove around Austin. Foster the People‘s Pumped up Kicks was a favorite of both Blue Eyes, and Rebel. At 5, Blue Eyes sang a more kid friendly version of the chorus, changing it from “Better Run/ Better Run/ Faster than my Bullet” to “Faster than my Brother”. The inclination to recognize the lyrics as including his brother, Handsome, cracked me up. Rebel’s hipster head shake to the song is reminiscent of oh so many ACL concert goers I have observed over the years.
Music helps in the behavior department for sure. When the kids are feeling the blues, I put on some pop! It’s hard to stay the course of a frown when the Black Eyed Peas are gettin’ down. When they are keyed up, stressed, or angry, i put on something soothing to chill them out like Coldplay(first 3 albums) or something happily melodic to lift their spirits like The Beatles or The Beach Boys. It’s amazing how comforting and uplifting music is. The body naturally responds to it. Sometimes, like adults, kiddos just need time and space to get themselves together, and by the time a good song ends, they’ll feel better.
Living in The Live Music Capital of the World certainly has its perks and, as an Austinite, I am blessed to be able to catch live music 365 days per year. On one such occasion I went to see The Cool Kids at Mohawk for an amazing set of hip hop heaven. The Cool Kids are incredibly talented and I was astonished that after sticking around after the show my pals and I were able to meet them. The band is comprised of rappers Antoine “Sir Michael Rocks” Reed and Evan “Chuck Inglish” Ingersoll. Both were even cooler than I could have predicted and when Mikey Rocks and I got to talking, I told him how I play their stuff for the kiddos I nanny for. (Only a Supernanny would spend her time backstage with the band beaming about her charges!) He was very surprised, especially when I told him that What It Is is one of Big Cat’s favorite songs. I complimented him on the intelligence and inadvertent appropriateness of their lyrics (aka hardly any cursing!) and he was dually flattered and an incredibly cool(sorry there is no more accurate word) dude. I asked him if he would please take a picture with me, Big Cat would be so impressed! He sweetly obliged, and when I picked up Big Cat from school the next day and showed him and Mr. Man my photo with the famous Mikey Rocks they were awestruck. I definitely earned an added level of admiration and respect from the boys that day, not to mention cool points.