I have issues with a lot of children's music on the market today. A lot of it is insipid, pandering, and utterly obnoxious. Then, of course, there's the whole Disney can of worms. Avoiding, or at least trying to balance, gender stereotypes and enforcement of the status quo takes a lot of careful and thoughtful diligence.
For those of you who may have read the above paragraph and scoffed at my typical, first-time parent foolishness, I will say only that my mother raised two daughters who were neither tomboys nor princesses by making mindful decisions about the media we were exposed to and the context in which it was presented.
So I have begun the process of reflecting on my own childhood favorites, and discovering what's new and wonderful in the world of music for children.
My own hands down favorite is Raffi, Canadian musician and advocate for children all over the world. He has a pleasant voice and sings a combination of original and traditional songs, in French and English. We picked up two of his CDs at our library the other day and I'm pleased to be able to say I still like him.
My only new music discovery thus far was actually made by my sister. Hip girl that she is, my sister brought us one of They Might Be Giants' children's albums "Here Comes Science". TMBG was one of my favorite bands as an adolescent and I actually saw them live several times as a teenager, so I was thrilled to learn they were making music for kids now. V is not exactly ready to learn about science yet, but I think it's fun for him anyway.
Growing up, my TV watching was limited to educational programming almost exclusively and I LOVED learning through music. My favorite show, "Square One", on PBS, was all about math and had several math-themed music videos in each program. I can only hope that I can find such quality programming for V when he's old enough to watch any TV.
I would love to hear about your favorite children's musicians. What do you like?