I have never allowed my Kiddo to listen to “children’s” music. I find the very existence of the genre detrimental to the development any type of true musical taste. We do not own a single Kidz-Bopped, Disneyfied, or Nick Jr-ized CD or mp3 in our entire collection. Barney makes my ears bleed. The Wiggles CD we were given somehow disappeared into the garbage before it could contaminate our player. Radio Disney does not exist in our world.
I have pondered why people insist that their kids listen to choruses of prepubescent Brittany-wannabes do covers of songs like “Your Mother Should Know” or “Can’t Buy Me Love.” Are the Beatles original versions (from back in the day when when they were shiny and clean cut) going to harm their kids in some way? It’s bubble-gum pop at it’s finest without any of the over-produced junior glee club revamp.
Most, if not all, moms I know only let their kids listen to this crap. And they will wonder why, in a few years, their kids will rebel and turn into one of the white-bread, gansta rapping minions. They never had a chance to listen to REAL music, to explore the vast options with their listening taste-buds.
My Kiddo has had a pretty wide education: from classical to classic rock, old wave, new wave, modern rock, reggae, and a little heavy metal and jazz thrown in to balance things out. We have elected to skip the classes in hip-hop and country (with the exception of the Black Eyed Peas and the Dixie Chicks, but they don’t really count anyway) because, well, we are hoping those genres are just a passing blip in musical evolution. We also have omitted ANYONE who was on American Idol…just not going there.
When the Kiddo turned four, his favorite song was “The Streetlight Song” a.k.a. “Long Road to Ruin” by the Foo Fighters. He would beg me to play it over and over again, pounding his little fists on the sides of his carseat to the drum beat, singing his little heart out. Who cares if he was singing the wrong words. He was very jealous when the hubby and I went to see the Foos in concert (which was an absolutely awesome show, but more on that perhaps another time). His tastes then progressed to Coldplay and he had the entire Viva la Vida album memorized two days after it was released. He was once again jealous when the Hubby and I saw them live.
I began to notice a growing trend. Parents were bringing their kids to concerts, something that never happened when we were growing up. At the Greenday show, we were pleasantly amazed to find 8-year-olds with their hair punked out and sprayed green walking hand in hand with their parents. During the concert, Billie Joe pulled a kid on stage with him to sing along with the band–how cool would that be! Considering the price of a concert ticket was LESS than the cost of a babysitter, I realized live shows were becoming a family event.
Last summer Coldplay was going to be making a return trip to sunny FLA, and since we didn’t have a (free) sitter available, we decided it might be the perfect time to introduce the Kiddo to the joys of live music. The tickets were bought and he was counting the days until the show…when it was canceled. Bummed was an understatement.
The Hubby and I journeyed to several more shows, deciding that they were a bit inappropriate for a preschooler. Jane’s Addiction with Nine Inch Nails wasn’t exactly fitting, although it was much tamer than we ever imagined. Dave Matthews…nah…I was not ready to give up my freedom to dance (and drink) at that show to be on Mom Duty. We made promises that he would get to go to a concert with us one of these days.
Now the perfect opportunity has been dangled in front of us. Sir Paul McCartney will be performing one of his four U.S. shows just a few hours away. Seeing him has been on my Concert Bucket List since…well, since I was 6. After glancing at Sir Paul’s recent set lists, we bit the bullet, pulled out the AMEX, and bought three lower bowl seats. I find it fitting that the Kiddo’s introduction to live music shall begin with musical royalty. He has always listened to the Beatles (and his favorite T-shirt now sports the Fab Four) but we have just a few days to shore up his musical education. There are probably a few Wings gaps that must be filled in as well.
The iPod is loaded, the bags are almost packed, the anticipation is building…Miami and Sir Paul, here we come!