Feel The Noise

by Stefani on 28-May-2008

My kids are passionate about music.

Feel The Noise 

In fact, the very first time I felt my oldest move in the womb, was when I was sitting on the couch listening to the Glen Miller Orchestra play "Moonlight Serenade".

 I was certain that it was a sign that my child would be as taken with music as I am. 

Right then and there, I made it my mission to foster that love in any way that I could.

 I got a little giddy thinking of all the greats that I wanted them to experience – Ella Fitzgerald, Coltrain, Lennon, Hendrix, Vivaldi, David Bowie, Sting, Prince, Credence Clearwater, Tina Turner, Johny Cash, Mozart – I love it all. I'm crazy about folk music, singer songwriter tunes, classical, country, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s – there's just so much to love! 

So, I can say with certainty that though I did not push them to take up instruments (no really, I promise!), I did my best to inspire that desire. 

And then something happened that I hadn't quite banked on… 

My middle boy got a radio for Christmas, and after much twisting and turning, found two stations that he loves:

Rap, and Heavy Metal. 

Dear God.

 He had to go and pick the exactly TWO genres that I don't much care for. 

It's been a constant battle – me asking him to turn it down, him asking me for the 10th time, "Come listen to this song Mom! It's SO great!" 

I feel like I'm walking this line – on the one hand not wanting to squash his little creative spirit just because I don't care for his tastes, and on the other hand feeling the need to weed out stuff that I just don't think he's mature enough to grasp. 

I tried to explain to him that a lot of the songs he thinks "sound neat" have lyrics that are not appropriate for him. He said, "But I don't listen to the words, mama. I just, you know, FEEL the music."

Pickin'

I had a flashback to when I tried to tell my grandmother that there was nothing at all wrong with Salt and Peppa's "Push It."  (which i believe was on the same album as Let's Talk about S*X"

I clearly remember thinking that I just liked the way the song sounded. I didn't care what it said or what it meant. 

Still. 

So, I told him that we'd work together to find some rockin' and rappin' (and kid friendly) kind of songs to download and make into a CD for him.

You guys got any ideas?

Deirdre May 28, 2008 at 8:24 pm

“Starry-eyed surprise” by Oakenfield is sorty hip/hop and fun.

There is also a clean version of “Hey Ya” by Outkast.

For what it’s worth I remember singing every song on the Grease soundtrack without realizing what half of them meant. As long as the language isn’t offensive, I think kids can enjoy the music without picking up on the implications (recently I was embarrassed listening to the words to “Lollipop” which I put on my toddler’s mix).

Please share if you find more…

OMSH May 28, 2008 at 8:27 pm

Oh my, I’m with you … don’t like those two genres AT ALL.

But I too remember singing every son on the Grease soundtrack and only realizing what they meant when I watched it YEARS later as an adult.

What were my parents thinking?

Marjorie May 28, 2008 at 10:24 pm

toby mac!

Jenifer S May 28, 2008 at 10:27 pm

Oh, I do feel your pain. My son also leapt in the womb to music and has continued to love music. Unfortunately, he found some old heavy metal of my husband’s (I must have forgotten to throw THOSE cd’s away!) and has decided that Iron Maiden is HIS band! Ugh.

It pains me to hear him listen to metal when all I want him to listen to is Coltrane, Connick Jr, Louis Armstrong, Ella, etc….

At least, I can say that along with finding the Iron Maiden, he did find X (a Los Angeles punk band from my youth) on my itunes list and also likes one of their songs (I’m a bit conflicted about this though since he’s only seven!)

Allison Fouse May 29, 2008 at 12:45 am

My hubby says “DC Talk” is a Christian rap band and says they’re very good. P.O.D. is a fantastic band more on the metal side; I have been listening them for years. Also try “Five Iron Frenzy” (ska) and “M.X.P.X.” (punk) just to throw a bit more into the mix.

Katherine May 29, 2008 at 3:05 am

Oh boy do I ever have just the thing for you. Check out Secret Agent 23 Skidoo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_WJxh5X4HU He is a dad in Asheville NC who raps for kids. This video is not nearly as good as the album. The album ROCKS! Also check out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9j3Nhh775E&feature=related “I’m a little old school and she’s a little preschool.” 🙂

“Man, I got more rhymes than Dr. Suess.”

Adrienne May 29, 2008 at 3:52 am

My son loves Vivaldi, George Winston, Michael Buble and the Wiggles … then one day he was watching Noggin and this group played. He LOVED it – Juliard trainded boys from a not so great neighborhood in NY – they meld who they are/where they came from very nicely … middle boy might just dig it. Nuttin’ But Strings is the group and the song that got my boys attention is “Thunder”. They are on iTunes. Happy listening!

molly May 29, 2008 at 5:28 am

I don’t have any great suggestions…however, moonlight serenade was one of the first songs my music teacher had me play along with on the record player. He used to sit back in his chair and close his eyes when I played. It was one of his favorite songs. I can only imagine the places it took him in his mind…

We’re thinking about the violin/guitar thing for emma. she’s asking for both. oh, and a pony! 🙂

got your email…we’ll catch up soon when things slow down…xo.

krisitn May 29, 2008 at 5:34 am

just a suggestion any Will Smith albums have a rap beat but he never uses any swear words or derrogative messages. he has stated he just wont do it. he has said it is irresponsible for other rap “artists” to do so. sends wrong message to kids of today. so maybe check some of his stuff out..

Kerry May 29, 2008 at 5:46 am

As an elementary school teacher I came across this terrific resource: Teaching Tolerance from the Southern Poverty Law Office. It is a c.d. with tons of songs in all different genres. There is at least one rap song that is guaranteed to have my 3rd graders dancing around the room. It inspires my 2 and 1/2 year old to get up and groove too. All of the songs are pretty great and it comes with a lyric and activity book. Best of all, it was free for me and I believe that you might also have free access since you are home schooling.
http://www.tolerance.org/teach/resources/your_friend.jsp

elissa Finger May 29, 2008 at 6:08 am

i am with you musically. rap and metal would be at the bottom of my listening rotation these days as well… um, unless it was the beastie boys. the salt n pepa reference is cracking my can though. i used to know all the lyrics to the “very necessary” album… can just see myself now, belting out “none of your business” in my minivan. “mommy, what does ‘sell it on the weekend’ mean?” 🙂 if he is liking RAP rap, not pop rap, there are some good Christian artists out there with great talent and no scary lyrics! try dillon chase, x-clan, GTB.

Danielle May 29, 2008 at 6:54 am

Dan Zanes and Father Goose. Totally geared for kids, but not saccharine. Father Goose is actually a Dancehall MC, so the rhymes are good. http://www.fathergoose.net/ or http://www.myspace.com/fathergooseent

We’ve also picked up Earth, Wind & Fire for our son, and some of the ’80s rap might be a good compromise.

But I also loved Salt’n Peppa, so you know they’ll go for things that push your boundaries.

French rap can be great, and while I haven’t been reading long enough to know, I would guess your kids don’t speak colloquial french ;o) They get the rhythms, but without direct access to perhaps some objectionable content. I used to listen to a lot of MC Solar, but that was eons ago!

Good luck!

Kristi May 29, 2008 at 7:02 am

try: GO Fish at gofishguys.com
Great music for kids that won’t drive parents bonkers. Get the Snazzy album.

I have the same issue as you with with my 5 five year old and Rap music. He loves Go Fish.

Casey May 29, 2008 at 7:22 am

I let the kids listen to a good bit of Joan Jett, Green Day, Spoon, Social Distortion (the kids love their “Ring of Fire” cover) in the car–when I’m not hushing them up with Jim Weiss. Of course, certain tracks are right out.

And I heard “Push It” at the bakery the other day! You know a song’s lyrics have been completely neutralized when your kids are jumping around to it while a very reserved, sixty-something man rings up your kolache-and-cookie order and nobody bats an eye.

Still, it felt weird to hear that song while not wearing skates.

Anne May 29, 2008 at 7:24 am

I have to agree with Danielle; Dan Zanes and Father Goose. Heavy Metal? Can’t think of anyone unless you try “vintage” Metallica (not sure if the lyrics are appropriate).

Wash Push it about something dirty? I thought they were talking about dancing.

Thimbleina May 29, 2008 at 7:42 am

Oh Ella Fitzgerald one of my all time favourites, some of my other music tastes have altered over time, but have always loved Ella.

Our Green Nest May 29, 2008 at 8:21 am

Love it…I’m trying to think of “clean” rap or heavy metal…I do think most of the Metallica stuff is clean…Rap…hmmmm…I’m drawing a blank…That’s so wonderful your boys are so into music – it’s a great passion!

Lisa Clarke May 29, 2008 at 9:50 am

Speaking of not really listening to the words, or having them go over your head when you were a kid… The first time I heard Afternoon Delight during my adulthood, I was shocked! All the time I was a kid, I thought they were singing about having a picnic 😉

Don’t really have any suggestions. Thankfully my oldest’s favorite genre seems to be Irish fiddle music. Or “diddly diddly” as we like to call it!

Jody May 29, 2008 at 12:27 pm

I’m with you on the rap and heavy metal. There are quite a few really good Christian bands out there with positive lyrics. A few were already mentioned but here are my suggestions…
For rap…P.O.D., Pillar, or John Rueben.
For Heavy Metal…Stryper and Rez.
For Heavy rock but not quite metal…Skillet.

Puntumayo also has an alblum called World Groove which has a unique sound to it that your little one may like.

There are also kids CD’s that he might enjoy…Go Fish and Deliberate Kids by Phil Joes are favorites around our house.

Veggie Tales are annoying to me but there is an alblum called Veggie Rocks! which is a bunch of artists doing their interpretation of the Veggie Tales songs. It’s fun to listen to without the classic annoying Veggie Tales sound.

Good luck finding music that you both can tolerate. It is such a wonderful thing that you little ones love music. Kuddos to you for trying to find music to suit his taste even though it might not suit yours!

Melanie May 29, 2008 at 12:37 pm

My son loves the heavy metal, too! His current fave is Black Sabbath. My husband is the “music man” in our house so I don’t know exactly what to recommend, but often he is able to download “clean” songs from real player or itunes. The lyrics still aren’t quite what I’d call appropriate for children, but at least the worst of it is edited out.

Christine May 29, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I know they are not rap or heavy metal, but the Bare Naked Ladies just put out a kids album that has some really funny songs. The album is called “Snack Time”

lynnie May 30, 2008 at 5:41 am

When I was pregnant with my son, I harbored a secret wish for a thinker, a little bookworm and musician or artist. But of course, I just planned to love my child no matter his temperament or tastes- even if his great love turned out to be math or skateboarding . Turns out I had a child who is all the things I hoped for- at 15 he’s a great drummer who loves hardcore punk rock music (even has a band and they’ve already paid their first show), has been drawing constantly since he was six- but only manga, always manga (though he’s good at it). He loves books, but mostly in the form of manga, graphic novels and non-fiction (novels bore him) and what a thinker! He’s constantly talking with me about politics, religion, social systems, racism, sexism, etc- and when I say constantly, I mean whenever he’s in the same space as me. The boy doesn’t seem to indulge in small talk. It can be exhausting! I was going to say that the moral of this story is, be careful what you wish for, but I wouldn’t change my drumming, manga loving punk philosopher for anything.

Does your son use Suzuki method?

valerie May 30, 2008 at 7:36 pm

when i was in the fourth and fifth grade i became obsessed with hairbands: gn’r, skid row, metallica etc. i too loved the way it sounded and never really paid attention to the words. i’ll never forget when my mom came into my room and started reading the lyrics on my tapes. she took them all and threw them away!!! i was devastated! all my hard earned baby-sitting money! that didn’t stop me though. eventually my mom gave in and i continued my hairband tape collection… i even plastered my bedroom walls with sexy photos of axl rose and sebastian bach. i wore my metal t-shirts proudly.
but with all that said, in the end i grew out of that phase. i love all of the same music you do. give your son time… he’ll soon appreciate all the music you share with him. i think you’re doing a great job at making musical compromises.

Corey May 31, 2008 at 8:09 am

My husband listens to considerably harder music than I do, and the band we can agree on is Social Distortion. Despite the title, their recent album, Sex, Love, and Rock n’ Roll is especially good, and I don’t think there’s any profanity. Most of the songs are about love or being true to yourself, so good messages, I think.

Good luck on your search. This post has sparked numerous conversations in my household about when we have kids.

Summer June 1, 2008 at 9:08 am

I’ve never commented but read your blog every day and love it. I have all girls here but my brother has three boys the same ages as yours and is homeschooling so I’m always intrigued by all your wonderful ideas.
I had to chime in on this post because we are big hip hop fans as is our 2 year old daughter. We have all the kid options but she often asks for ‘Papa’s music’. Our play list of appropriate rap is:
Nappy Roots
K-Os
Justice
Jurassic 5
for hip hop it is all pretty much appropriate (the occasional use of ‘hell’) and these are all quality musicians as well who incorporate all kinds of instruments into the mix. My husband is the bigger hip hop fan than I am but Jurassic 5 especially has grown on me for it’s wonderful southern feel.
I’m no help with heavy metal sorry…
good luck in your exploration!

caroline June 2, 2008 at 8:13 am

Oh, I totally feel your pain! I made a rule that for every (clean) hip hop song he downloaded, he had to pick a song from another genre to download as well. Then we racked our brains to remember some old-school stuff that wasn’t as harsh.

Try:
no parking on the dance floor
more bounce to the ounce
atomic dog
assorted beastie boys
ice ice baby (yes, vanilla ice)

Good luck!

Summer June 2, 2008 at 9:28 am

ok so in re-listening I don’t recommend Jurrasic 5 or at least not all their albums…they do swear more than I realized…and when I said southern feel I meant to say nappy roots not jurassic 5…guess I need to listen a little closer before I recommend!

Kristi Richards June 2, 2008 at 7:32 pm

go to Family Christian Bookstore – there are all kinds of heavy christian music and rap too. Not my kind of music either but my little brother is a huge fan of Skillet – heavy and I would say Tate or DC Talk (maybe too dated to find them, but they were a rap band when I was in school). I had strict music restrictions growing up & I will have to agree with my parents – the world’s standards are much lower than mine and I do not want to censor, but I want to keep them protected as long as I can. I think kids are exposed way too early to too many things! Miss you guys!!

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