Okay, can we just take a minute to address the elephant in the playroom? Kid's music. Music for kids. It is the ABSOLUTE WORST. How many times has the following scenario happened to you:
You're in the kitchen prepping a snack for your littles. It's 3:30 in the afternoon and you are seriously wondering how you are supposed to manage staying conscious for the next few hours (So. Tired.), let alone make supper and do all of the evening things. To perk things up, you decide to turn on a little music. Pandora kicks in and instead of being energized, you immediately fall to the ground writhing in agony. Oh, the synthesized instruments! Woe is me, cheesy over-effected vocals! The level of manic energy and pure campiness - WHY?! Your only solution is to stuff your ears with Goldfish crackers and pray that one gets lodged deeply enough to rupture your eardrums.
Here are some of my favorite kid's artists - I hope they save you a hospital bill for a self inflicted ear injury.
First! Shout out to musicians that aren't specifically for children, but that children love anyway! With the exception of a few songs that need to be skipped because of coarse language or mature themes, The Beatles, Alison Krauss, Michael Jackson, Mumford and Sons, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Twilight soundtracks (don't judge), Johnny Cash, Jack Johnson, Garth Brooks, and Jars of Clay are all popular at our house. We also really love show tunes, musicals, and soundtracks. The Lion King, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, Cars - all so fun.
Musicians that make awesome kids music:
Caspar Babypants - Also known as Chris Ballew from the band The Presidents of the United States of America, this is a guy out of Seattle who will rock your socks off. The Caspar Babypants stuff is catchy, bouncy, and fun, without being obnoxious. (He's playing in Portland this coming Sunday!!)
Elizabeth Mitchell - My all time favorite. An ex-preschool teacher out of New York, her music is folksy, mellow, gentle, and happy. Love her.
They Might Be Giants - Yes, this "grownup" band does kid's stuff. And it is so good. Quirky, humorous, and a bit funky. See also: Barenaked Ladies. Similarly goofy.
Raffi - Classic. Guy with a guitar. If you were a child ever at any point, you've probably heard his stuff. It's still good. We saw him live a few weeks ago and he was excellent.
Laura Veirs - Another Seattle artist, Laura is folksy with a touch of country twang. She only has one children's album, called Tumble Bee, but I think it is really lovely. Check it out.
Justin Roberts - "Intelligent and whimsically rocking" music (I pulled that off his bio). :) He used to be a Montessori teacher, and it shows.
Laurie Berkner - A multi-instrumentalist who used to be a music specialist at a New York preschool. Truly a children's music rockstar.
Charlie Hope - Another preschool teacher (are you seeing a theme here?), Charlie has a degree in Art Therapy for children. Her music is gorgeous, and she has a lovely lullaby album.
A few good bets as far as Pandora stations go: Family Folk Songs, Disney, and Putumayo are all fun. And all of the artists I listed above have cds available to check out from the Eugene library. I'm sure the library has tons of other artists that are so great! Which leads me to...
What did I miss? I am always looking for new music to fill our daily soundtrack, so please let me know who you love listening to!