Thank You for the Music?

The second we get in the car, my children start deliberating over which song they’d like to listen to first on the journey. Up until quite recently it’s usually been something Disney related, with the Tangled soundtrack featuring pretty highly. My son also has a soft spot for “Dingle Dangle Scarecrow,although he’s gone off that a bit in the car as he finds the confines of his Maxi Cosi a little bit restricting for its accompanying choreography!

As a music teacher, I’ve come to appreciate a huge range of musical styles and genres, and my husband is very passionate about music too. He tends to favour the more critically acclaimed artists, often finding my tastes incredibly cringeworthy and frequently sniggers that my ‘Guilty Pleasures’ playlist on Spotify actually contains most of my library!

Recently however, I’ve noticed that the children have been starting to enjoy more grown up music. I’m not talking the swearing every other word type, just the next step up from Disney! I’ve found it quite endearing seeing them dancing and singing along to Miley Cyrus, thinking how cute and innocent it all was, but my daughter got me thinking this morning when she’d requested Price Tag by Jessie J on the way to school. The reason she and my son love this song is for no other reason than right at the start she says “Coconut Man!” This never fails to produce uncontrollable fits of laughter from both of them. They then happily sing along to the chorus. The thing is though, this morning, my daughter asked me “Why isn’t it all about the money? What does Jessie mean?”

Thankfully, this is a song with a nice message , but they also love dancing around to the poppy Katy Perry singles, so how long will it be before she’s asking me what ‘sex on the beach’ is or what ‘menage a trois’ is all about?! These are songs that are frequently played on the radio, so should I be avoiding them because they’re only 3 and 5? I’ve never really been the ‘sheltering’ type, but I’m also not sure I was expecting the whole birds and the bees thing just yet either!

I’m probably reading too much into it again, but my daughter is bright and if she’s starting to try and make sense of the lyrics and question their meaning, surely I should encourage this new level in her learning? So is it all innocent fun, or am I already at that stage where I’m going to have to start censoring things?!

Given that my daughter was only proudly telling all of her teachers yesterday that she stayed up until midnight at the weekend (for a very special occasion!) and that she made a MacDonald’s chip carton during ‘art’ at school for no reason at all yesterday, I’m growing ever fearful that I might soon get a reputation that I really don’t want! So tell me lovely people, is it time to act?!



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. A. Starr
    May 10, 2012 @ 16:44:58

    Hello, I came across this blog through twitter and I just wanted to offer my personal opinion. I grew up listening to songs like “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails and others by Alanis Morissette and if you are familiar with any of then, you would know they are not the best songs for a child to listen to, with swearing and references to sex and drugs. Personally, in our society today, you’re never going to be able to broaden your children’s musical horizons by censoring them from songs like that. Every song today has some sort of negative reference. My 7yo sister loves the song by LMFAO, “Everyday I’m shufflin'” (or whatnot), and she randomly asked my step-mother what “passion in my pants” was. My mom just replied that as a 7yo, it does not have to mean anything for her an that maybe, as she gets older, she will learn it for herself whether the interest is still there. My mother chose not to worry and not censor songs with metaphorical sayings, although If there are songs with direct swearing and references, she casually changes the station saying she needs to listen to traffic updates.
    As an early childhood educator, I know children will be forever curious, especially during the ages of 4 to 6 and it’s best that you dont limit their knowledge and ignore questions, no matter how discomforting they may be for you. instead, try asking them WHY they want to know what something is, or try redirecting their attention to something else. Just remember that every child is being exposed to the same things everyday by society and some parents may not even be aware of the words in some of these songs and what they mean. your reputation will not go down simply because you let your children listen to these types of songs.
    I hope this somewhat answers your questions!


  2. Jess McGlynn
    Jun 14, 2012 @ 17:51:32

    I’ve found reading this interesting, my daughter is 3 and LOVES One Direction. I think we heard one of their songs on the radio and it went from there. She also watched the video for Swagger Jagger and decided that was a favourite too. I’ve often wondered about whether it’s appropriate for her and she has often asked me to tell her what the words of different songs are and what they mean. I guess at the moment I’m hoping she’s too young to attach much meaning to them. Sorry, I’ve really just rambled! But it’s nice to know I’m not the only mum in this dilemma!


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