cake for dinner

Which Music Is Most Popular in Our House?

March 2, 2012

SuperBoy loves music. Don’t all little tikes? He dances along, twirls, shrugs his shoulders, twists his wrists, and bobs his head from side to side. Sometimes there is jumping up and down involved. He only listens to two kids of music, though: classical or a limited selection of children/folk tunes. Why so limited? Why not open up his horizons to encompass the normal range of what’s out there? Well, for a few reasons. Most pop culture music has bad beats & bad lyrics. Classical music affects neurological development in a positive way (read more on my posts here and here). Heavy metal is bad for everyone’s ear drums. Folk & children’s tunes are generally benign enough lyrics-wise, and can be tolerated for protracted periods of time (by moi). What to we actually listen to, most of the time, aside from a small collection of random kid’s CDs? 1) Classical Minnesota Public Radio. MPR, baby! It’s commercial-free (unless you count the inane member drives), plays a huge variety, and never gets dull. When it burgeons into modern or what sounds like the scary violins in a thriller movie, we turn to our CD collection of opera, piano concertos, and orchestral suites. We had him listen to classical music exclusively until he was about 10-12 months, when those neurons were really REALLY forming. See below for reference to lecture on The Profound Effects of Music on Life. SuperBoy really loves Maria Callas. We have this old CD of her performing about 12 arias. He…

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Music and Its Impact on Your Child’s Heart

July 19, 2011

  SuperBoy listens to classical music primarily. Why? I wrote about it here, but to reiterate briefly: 1) Science. Studies on mice (albeit, not people) have demonstrated that the neurons in little forming brains develop in a more orderly fashion when exposed constantly to classical music, versus pop/silence, versus the very detrimental rock/heavy metal which actually showed a distortion of neurological development in mice necropsies. Wow. Your child’s brain is this delicate sponge that’s developing every second. In the first year of life, the brain grows more than any other time. Sheer growth, sheer added and changing. So that’s one scientific reason. But say you don’t believe those studies translate to people. Okay, try some of these other ones out. 2) Beauty. Developing a sense of beauty and depth of wonder are universal parenting goals, right? Would you rather your child know the words to a hip hop song replete with questionable pejorative phrases that are misogynistic? Or would you prefer she recognize Vivaldi’s Four Seasons? Or know the words to a great aria from one of the great operas? Okay, so maybe she won’t do it in Italian, but she can sure hum along! Classical music is more beautiful and uplifting in my opinion than pop, oldies, rap, metal, or even classic rock. 3) Knowledge and identifiability of instruments. Listening to classical music of all kinds, not that bad elevator stuff or dental office reruns, encourages and enables children to identify specific instruments that aren’t present in other forms…

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How to Choose Music for Your Child

May 7, 2011

A close friend who passed away last fall inspired me with her passion for music, particularly in the lives of her children. She believed in the power of music to transform the soul, mind, and body. If the proof is in the pudding, she and her husband definitely had the right theory as their ten adult children (and 25 grandchildren) are fantastic human beings. Whole Parenting philosophy incorporates classical music as it ennobles a child’s soul, has positive effects on a child’s neurological development, and disciplines a child’s body by practice and mastery of instruments. 1) Inform yourself. For starters, check out Nurtured by Love: The Classical Approach to Talent Education, Shinichi Suzuki. Listen to The Profound Effects of Music on Life, Dr. Andrew Pudewah. 2) Listen to great music. Turn on Minnesota Public Radio, 99.5 FM. Tune in to the local concert calendars for classical music. Take your little ones early and often to performances. Our favorite children’s albums are Cake for Dinner Children’s Album and Burl Ives Sings a Little White Duck. Cake for Dinner in particular is SuperBoy’s favorite. He also gives it to all his little friends as birthday gifts. Hopefully they will tour in the Twin Cities soon–see this link at the Kennedy Center for their performance there. 3) Pick a song for your infant. The close friend who passed away shared that she had selected a particular classical music piece for each of her children while pregnant. She would play that piece over and over again from pregnancy through childhood for that child. We selected Pablo…

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