Little RadioheadsPosted: August 28, 2012
What kind of music someone prefers can tell you a lot about him/her. Some of the most revealing conversations I have had with friends and family have been about music, and it is through our mutual love of music, and The Doors in particular, that my fiancé Luke and I first fell in love. Music is a way to bond with people and provides a common denominator in relationships. (That, or bad taste in music can act as a red flag for someone you do not need to spend a road trip with!) I enjoy keeping melody around as my Supernanny sidekick, the Robin to my Batman, if you will. It is a great way to create an atmosphere and add cheer or calm to a day. Determining which music to play during which part of the day is a delicate decision based on several factors: child’s preference, corresponding activity, and/or time of day. Any or all of these environmental elements influence the final call on which Pandora station, track, or iPod album/playlist is chosen.
When going by child’s preference, with those kiddos able to verbalize opinions, the choice is fairly obvious. Big Cat is very discerning when it comes to the subject of music. When he and I have down time, I try a new Pandora station and have him give me the thumbs up or thumbs down on a song-by-song basis. He has a soft spot for the Arcade Fire(Wake Up, favorite song of MANY children, Big Cat included) and Jack White stations. When he and Mr. Man have homework to do, I opt for Pachelbel, Mozart, really any classical music Pandora radio stations. The lack of lyrics helps them concentrate but provides the welcome rhythm of music. I employ classical music in most morning situations, (Boss Lady being the clear exception, though she flirted with the She & Him station for a time, it’s Gaga or nothing for that gal!) and anytime I want to bring calm to the home. Rebel, an avid music lover, and incendiary dancer, prefers Indie Rock 9 times out of 10 aka Broken Bells, Two Door Cinema, Band of Horses, She & Him, he loves his hipster high life. Blues also catch his attention, (he clapped after B.B. King finished belting out Stand By Me, and was a little more than annoyed that I could not play it again -most of the toddlers seem skeptical of my explanation of radio- “Really, Miss Cheryl? You can’t just play the song again?”) while brother Doc prefers Thievery Corporation, Belle & Sebastian, and LMFAO(How’s that for a broad spectrum?). As for Princess and Captain Awesome? They like good old-fashioned kid jams- Walt Disney Children and The Backyardigans stations are top two. Whatever the chosen station, I am forever grateful that this iPad application has been invented. Pandora, I adore ya!
When Pandora is not an option, I am left to my own devices,(pun intended) namely my iPod. Through trial and error I come up with unbeatable playlists for each home, or in the case of Big Cat and Mr. Man, what to play in the car on the way to and from school, errands, adventures. Mr. Man flat out tells me over whatever book he’s reading, “I like this one. Add it please.” Big Cat’s playlist picks are made obvious by his body language. If he kicks the back of my seat rhythmically, ADD. If he groans and looks out the window, DO NOT ADD. So there you have it, I can add Kiddo DJ to my list of credentials. Now all I need is a fresh turntable alter ego…MixxCheryl? Has a nice ring to it!
Here’s a list of songs beloved by my charges, past and present. Give them a listen and try them out on the music-lover in your home. ☺
Steady As She Goes, The Raconteurs (Great beat, kiddos love it!)
Little Boxes, The Shins (Very nursery rhyme-like.)
Break on Through, The Doors (Kiddos rock out to this one every time!)
Bathtime in Clerkenwell, The Real Tuesday Weld (Makes them laugh because sung so fast!)
All Good, Zeroleen (Good time beat.Mr. Man would always join in to say, “Superstar!”)
Down in Mexico, The Coasters (They don’t know what a honky-tonk is, but boy do they wanna go! Sorry moms!)
15 Step, Radiohead (Spot your future indie rockers with this one!)
Crawl, Kings of Leon (Kiddos love the singer’s voice, and lyrics are great to sing along to!)
Boom Boom Pow, Black Eyed Peas(clean) (Pop time!)
Black Dog, Led Zeppelin (Ok so this one may be for Miss Cheryl. Though it’s hilarious watching kiddos trying to decipher Zeppelin lyrics;).)
Jane, Jefferson Starship (Just plain fun!)
Any Way You Want It, Journey (Just like millions of college kids before them, the kiddos dig Journey!)
Just Like Heaven, The Cure (Good day, good mood, just good!)
I’ve Just Seen a Face, The Beatles (Mr. Man favorite!)