So my 6 year old daughter has an ipod.

I can hear some of you saying “whaaaaaat?”

Now, she’s not allowed to take it to school. And we didn’t buy it for her specifically. She has “inherited” it from her father, who won it as a prize for being a top manager of his former company (he actually won two). Also, the music that’s on it is moderated by both parents. We know what she’s listening to, and that it’s age-appropriate. We uploaded the tunes ourselves. From a wide range of sources really. There are the usual Disney ditties, some Hi-5 favorites, songs from the great musicals (Les Mis, Phantom, Once on this Island, Cats), a few classical and instrumental pieces (mostly for sleepy time), a BoyZone best of album (gasp gasp), and Tagalog classics (can’t go wrong with Ewan and Pumapatak nanaman Ang Ulan!) I also came across these fantastic CDs (go the local library!) that I recommend for anyone with kids. They’re great listening for the young once, too.forthekidscoverFor the kids Too!

Some of my favorite tracks:

  • The Rainbow Connection – two versions, by Sarah Mclachlan and Jason Mraz respectively;
  • Mahna Mahna (which incidentally, we found out, was originally part of the soundtrack for a pseudo-documentary about wild sexual activity and other behavior in Sweden – BUT P. DOESN’T KNOW THAT AND DOESN’T HAVE TO JUST YET!! ) by Cake;
  • la la la la lemon by Barenaked ladies;
  • Sing by Ivy;
  • a really cool version of Twinkle Twinkle Star by Chantal Krevuziak (remember her from Armageddon??) and Raine Maida;
  • I’m different (which P absolutely loves) by Butterfly Boucher;
  • Catch the Moon by Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell

…. and heaps more . Highly recommended!

Other songs yet to be uploaded are those from the the Saddle Club Series (”hello world, this is me, life should be fun for everyone”), which P pointedly reminded me of earlier today.

Needless to say, P loves having her own portable music player. All the music she likes is finally in one place (no more riffling through CDs!) And it’s so handy when lugging the kids around in the car – just plug it in and it keeps them occupied throughout the trip.

Seeing P listen to it every night in her bed reminds me so much of myself when I was younger – although as I laughingly told her, I didn’t have an ipod player — back then, I would bring my entire radio set under the covers with me; and for my favorite songs I had to tune into the different FM radio stations, wait hours (sometimes even days!) for the DJ to play the songs I liked, and when they finally made it across the airwaves, had to quickly press the record button so that my cassette tape could capture the song, hopefully in its entirety and without the DJ talking over the first bit.

How times have changed!!

I ain’t complaining though. It’s made it easier for me to share music with my daughter. I’m hoping that by giving her the means to have her own time and space for it, she will grow to love music as much as I do, and that it becomes part and parcel of who she is. Whether or not she inherited her mother’s singing abilities doesn’t matter – as long as we have that common ground between us.

I know music saved me many times growing up as an angry, confused, angst-ridden teenager coming to grips with a father’s terminal disease. When I couldn’t find the words, music became the outlet. I was lucky to be surrounded by it; from classic standards (care of mom and dad) to the music of the 80’s, the 90’s and beyond (care of older siblings, cousins and friends. )

At the moment P’s music, as children’s music goes, is filled with sunshine-y, happy themes of rainbows and flowers and love and unending friendship. As she grows older I know this will change (oh how it may change!), and that some of her musical choices may not be to my liking. But just as I was able to express, and even discover (and re-discover) facets of myself in the different genres and artists and lyrics and musical styles I listened to over the years, so will she. And I hope as that happens she will like who she finds; or at least, even on bad days, still be good friends with whom she meets in the musical middle.

What’s on your playlist today?

If you have any ideas or know of any other songs I can share with P (and S. as he grows older) — please, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.