Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Listening Habits

I'm starting to think the built-in DVD player in our van has become a problem. The policy used to be "shows only on long trips," but somewhere along the way it's pretty much just become a given that if you're in Mommy's car, you get to watch a show.
The kids ride along in their own little world, earphones on and DVD from the library playing, and I either listen to NPR or my iPod.
As soon as N. gets buckled in, she starts asking for "see-phones, please" (I'm still not sure if this is just a mispronunciation, or if she truly gets seeing and hearing confused).
Don't get me wrong, we are certainly not a "no TV" household. My kids are more than familiar with the Nick Jr. and PBS oeuvre. We've probably seen every On Demand children's show Time Warner has to offer at least twice, and my DVR is currently home to the every episode of Dinosaur Train. But the point is, they get enough screen time at home. Do they really need to watch more every time we get in the car? It's gotten to the point that they complain if we're going to be going somewhere in J's car, because that means no "show." Not to mention the potential future hearing loss from being constantly plugged in to wireless headphones.
I've been trying to break the habit a little at a time, turning off the DVDs sometimes so that it doesn't become such a given. N., especially does not like this turn of events. Not too long ago, she yelled the entire way to O's school, even after O. calmly told her "Mommy's not going to change her mind, so you should just stop crying."
I try to distract them with music, and therein lies my dilemma. I simply don't have a large selection of kid friendly music to offer them. We have Kindermusik CD's, which N. enjoys but O. could live without. There's always Raffi, but even though I love him, I can only handle so much before I'm humming "we're going to the zoo tomorrow" in my sleep.
I'd love to be one of those parents who has cultivated an interest in and love for music in my kids from an early age. I'm always amazed (and a little suspect) when I read about or hear other people talk about their kids liking certain new hip bands, or being really into classic rock.
I've mentioned before that my own iPod playlist is a little lacking. I used to consider myself relatively 'cool' on the music front. Went to decent concerts, had my own pet bands and distinct opinions about which albums of which artists were any good, all of that. My interests could have been described as "alternative/alt-country rock/singer/songwriter." However, I probably have not bought new music in over five years, and even before that, I was slow to adopt anything new, preferring to stay with old favorites. I think I've mentioned, I'm a little starved for intellectual stimulation, so when I have a choice between music or a podcast/audiobook, the tunes hardly ever win.
I'd hate to become one of those parents that becomes so hopelessly out of touch with what's going on in the music scene that I start complaining that my children's music is "too loud" or "just noise." I'd like to join in with them in discovering some new and interesting stuff.
I'd like to actually get what the fuss is all about on Yo Gabba Gabba, and why cool musicians seem to want to have guest appearances on it. Instead I just feel old and lame when it comes to music. So, I'm asking: What should the kids and I be listening to? What can I introduce them to that they will love to listen to in the car, and won't make my own ears bleed?


mep said...

You know I'm a music loser, but I will put in a good word for Laurie Berkner . . . she has a dinosaur song, you know!

Also, Bub loves the Glee soundtracks. Cracks me up to hear him singing, "You can't always get what you want."

We're only a month in with the van and DVD player and it's pretty much always showtime in there.

CaraBee said...

We have a portable DVD player that got a lot of use for a while but lately has been spending a lot of time in it's jidey hole under the passenger seat. Not necessarily because I didn't want her watching more tv so much as that Im too lazy these days to get it out every time. I listen to pop and alternative radio stations and Sophie loves bopping along to the dancey stuff. My girl lives Lady Gaga. That's probably wrong, but we're both fine with it.

Have you heard of Gustafer Yellowgold? Interesting cartoon with really cool music. Check it out if you haven't.

Stacia said...

Once upon a time, there was a mom. Her name was Mrs. Pteranodon ... Oh, sorry, got distracted there by the very mention of Dinosaur Train.

Have you heard of the freekidsmusic.com? We've gotten lots of good stuff from there. Some of my kiddos' favorites are the Boogers, James Hersch, Wee Rock, and Didi Pop. And it only occasionally drives me over the edge, in which case I pop in something for me and tell them it's "my turn." =>

Heather said...

Does your library have CD's? Our old one did, but sadly Lebanon Library doesn't.

My older two love Christian rock (93.3) and Q102, while Gabe loves VeggieTales and KidzBop. I strongly recommend the Glee soundtracks, too. They are great!

That being said, when Gabe is in the van, often we have LeapFrog's The Letter Factory and The Word Factory playing on the DVD. Might as well get some learning time in :)

Anonymous said...

Our long trip policy has morphed into something more frequent as well. For the last 2 weeks I've had baby Mozart in there, not because I think it teaches my kids anything, but because it makes my 15 month old less angry about being in the car. The 4 and 5 year old daughters don 't seem to mind?

My girls will listen to the regular radio, kidz bop ( which I really don't mind), or the chipmunks.

I am no help musically.


A and E said...

A and I are totally burning you some music this weekend. I can't promise it will last you another 5 years, but maybe a few months. Also, try pandora at home. We checked out some kid stations when O. and N. were here. It's a great way to learn about new music for grown ups and kids.

tracey.becker1@gmail.com said...

All music. Anything. Really, I think that children's music is lovely and all, but REAL music is where it's at.

However, as far as children's music goes, my family does enjoy Gustafer Yellowgold. It's WEIRD and funky and has a storyline behind the strange lyrics and cool sounds. It won't make your ears bleed. Promise.

betherly said...

My favorite kid/grown up cds are:
For the Kids: Various Artists
Curious George Soundtrack: Jack Johnson
Putumayo Presents: World Playground 2

And most stuff by They Might Be Giants, Laurie Berkner, and Dan Zanes.