Looking for great kids music the whole family can enjoy, from musicians in Vancouver and beyond? Guest poster Marika Siewert shares her thoughts.
I got a huge wake up call one day when my kids and I were having our daily dance party in our home to the sweet dance beats of Usher. Up to this point we were fairly open regarding the music our kids listened to, but they were so young that they just liked the beats and didn’t care too much to what was said in the songs. It helped us as parents too, so we didn’t always feel stuck listening to kids music filled with nursery rhymes all day. We never listened to what people would say were “explicit” lyrics, but would lean on mostly pop, easy listening styles and the odd Michael Jackson, as well as some classic wheels on the bus for short drives to the mall.
At the time our kids were one, three and five years old, and this particular day, we got quite the shock when our oldest started singing the lyrics to an Usher song word for word. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoy the odd Usher tune. But this seemingly harmless dance tune had lyrics that were completely inappropriate for any child – and even most self-respecting adults – to be singing. That was the day Usher left our building!
Choosing Appropriate Kids Music
As a musician and songwriter, I believe the power of music and lyrics can and has shaped cultures and generations, and from a very early age influences the young minds of our children. Music can also affect how children view life, careers, and relationships. Many of us parents know about much of the kids music that is out there, but often the trendy music that plays on every radio station, YouTube channel and MP3 player finds its ways to young ears. How do we effectively choose kids music that is positive and parent-friendly?
I guess you could say I’m a bit old school, but I want to raise my boys as gentlemen that learn to treat women with respect, and I want to raise a daughter that knows she is beautiful and confident no matter what. I choose to be actively involved in what my kids hear and see. It’s normal to just go with the flow, so I encourage you to “be weird” and raise the standards for your kids! There are many great songs to listen to, so go ahead and make some family-friendly play lists as these songs may turn into anthems your kids will sing and recite for the rest of their lives.
People all over the world still talk about what they grew up listening to, or what their parents listened to. As parents, we have so much influence – sometimes even more than we even know. Here’s a taste of some local artists that have my stamp of approval. Go ahead, take a listen!
Kid-Approved Artists from my Four, Seven and Nine Year Old
These are listed in no particular order. My own label Emerton Records puts out some awesome, family-friendly music, so I’m starting with them.
- Grace Sng – Let Love Find You EP
- Cathy Hardy – Love Shines Album
- Marika – Never Stop Dreaming – Single
- Ryan McAllister – Music for a Rainy Town
- Zaac Pick – Fierce Wind
Non-Vancouver – But Still Awesome – Artists
- Demi Lovato – Unbroken
- Owl City – All things Bright and Beautiful
- Garth Brooks – The kids love the fast stuff!
- Manafest – The Chase – A great Canadian artist out of Toronto – if your kids love hip hop and rap this is the guy for you.
- The Beatles – Can’t beat the classics!
What about you? What kids music does your family listen to? Do you opt for traditional kids music, or do you kick it up a notch, and how do you decide what’s appropriate?
Marika Siewert is a wife and mom of three incredible children, CEO of Emerton Records, a professional recording artist, songwriter and producer, and loves to empower, encourage, and equip people in to the direction of their dreams.
Amber Strocel is a writer, aspiring math teacher, suburbanite, wife and mom of two. She believes in the power of the Internet to connect people, and she believes that numbers are the poetry of the universe. You can often find her knitting, sewing, volunteering, working in her garden, and sneaking chocolate when no one's looking. She blogs at Strocel.com and shares her photos on Instagram as @AmberStrocel.