Friday, November 19, 2010

Music To My Ears

Growing up in Canada, there was one thing that I was really lucky about - Canadians really know how to make music for kids, especially music that has a bit of a "folk-y" bent to it. I grew up Raffi (I even saw him in concert once, when I was little and I was in heaven), Sharon Lois and Bram and even the Travellers. These people really know how to make music that is fun for kids and musically appropriate (I have a degree in elementary music education and one pet peeve of mine is children's music that is largely un-singable for kids - it's more common than you think).

I really haven't kept up on the newer music releases and who is "up and coming" in the children' music world. Luckily, though, I am actively involved in the programmes at our local library and recently, I have been introduced to some FANTASTIC music for children, all available through Merriweather Records, based in Aurora, Ontario.

There are two artists in particular to whom we have become addicted - Kathy Reid-Naiman and Debbie Carroll. The music teacher in me loves their music as people so musically appropriate for Pk's age and Pk adores the music. There isn't an hour that goes by around here these days when Pk isn't singing, dancing around like an elephant or doing some kind of hand or finger rhyme with her brother. She is asking to listen to these songs all the time.

My very favourite, and one that actually has been known to bring tears to my eyes, is one performed by Debbie Carroll called "Love is Like Glue" ("Love is like glue, it sticks us together...") Baby Bean was about 3 1/2 months old and the three of us went to a Saturday singing thing at the library. When we did the song, at each chorus, they had the kids in partners and the children held their hands with their palms against those of their partners' and during the verses, they put different body parts so that they were touching those of a partner. Pk decided that she wanted to do it with her little brother. It made me cry, this first real evidence of the bond that I hope will become ever stronger between them. We now listen to this song over and over and it's become almost a kind of theme song for the family.

If you get a chance, I can't suggest these highly enough for the younger crowd. The only thing I will warn you - be prepared to walk around singing little bits of charming little songs, to waking up singing every day. Not such a bad problem to have :-).

1 comment:

  1. I agree, these are my go-to's after Raffi, Sharon, Lois, and Bram, and Bob McGrath. My only complaint is that while Kathy R-N is great for learning new songs and rhymes, I don't enjoy listening to her, as I find her voice to high for my comfortable listening zone, which I've discovered is on the lower end. I also enjoy Hap Palmer for fun little kid songs.