Last month I decided not to write up a music exploration post because we’d not been doing much music, but this time I’m on it, although it’s largely been music by accident. But with music always on the radio, quite often on the tv and in the house, there’s not really much escaping it.
This month, we
The Classic FM Hall of Fame. Every year I vote for my 3 favourites (they rarely change from year to year, mostly because I don’t listen to much classic FM anymore or watch films to experience new music) and every Easter I try and catch at least some of the Classic FM Hall of Fame countdown of the top 300 pieces. N was only around to listen to a couple of pieces, but he seemed to enjoy Sibelius’ Finlandia which I love too thanks to it being one of the pieces we played one term at Thames Vale Youth Orchestra. The other was the William Tell Overture so I was able to describe what the story was about, what an overture was and he could tell me what he thought he could hear from the music.
That’s the great thing about classical music. It seems to bring alive the questions and also enable children to listen along for the different instruments, asking more questions that with pop music.
The piano and ukelele. N still doesn’t want me trying to teach him anything on the piano, but he has been sitting down at it quite a lot, thinking about what he’s going to play. He does the same with his ukelele – he’ll be watching something on the tv or playing, all of a sudden off he’ll run to go and get it, then he’ll come back and play it to me.
Maybe in September he’ll like to try music lessons of some sort. It’s just choosing the instrument really.
Anything and everything. N does sing along to things, but mostly he likes to make up his own songs just murmuring along. But at our big family Easter dinner, he was sitting at the table after most of the children had got down and started singing. The comment from his aunt was ‘he obviously doesn’t take after the unmusical side of the family’. While I’m obviously biased, he does seem to sing quite well in tune compared with a lot of 5 year olds who tend to shout or just sing on one level. I’m hoping he is a bit musical and takes after me…although having done a bit of a singing and pitch test against a phone app tuner my brother uses for his guitar, it turns out my brother’s the one with perfect pitch. I’m definitely very out of practice!
Musical children’s tv shows.
Generally I’m not a fan of kids tv, however even I have to admit there are some which help children learn and understand different aspects of education, music being one of them.
N doesn’t often watch them (and I tell him they’re a bit young for him now he’s at school), but he caught Zingzillas and Melody over the Easter holidays.
Melody is about a little girl who has headphones and music. When she listens to the classical music she’s taken off to a dream like world which explains about the background to the music and gives the children watching an idea of what the music means or is about through images and film. I think it’s a bit like the tv version of Fantasia but with a ‘real life’ child’s story outside the music. Melody annoys me, but it’s great to see classical music on children’s tv and making it relatable to children.
Zingzillas is even more annoying to me but it covers more genres of music. A tropical island complete with monkeys and various other characters who invite people to play their music, instruments and dance, and then there’s a big sing at the end where the monkeys sing and play a song within the genre. Nuts, but they’ve covered country (and line dancing) in one show we watched, rock music in another, and then the one N watched last month which had a string quartet on it.
And then of course there’s Swashbuckle, N’s new obsession. Maybe it’s the modern day children’s version of Crystal Maze crossed with It’s a knock out. But best of all N likes doing the pirate salute and song…even his poor dad gets roped into doing it (well, in a jokey way).
I do love to see N getting up, dancing around and singing along to shows – these are the ones he can get excited about rather than just being glued to them.
The next stage of music is introducing him to my favourite driving songs because I’m about to get a new car and I have one song that’s the first I play in every new car I’ve ever had.
What music have you been listening to or watching with your children over the last couple of months? If you’ve got a music and kids post of any kind do add it to the linky below.