Child’s Play

Children’s Music – just the mention of the word gets parents everywhere groaning. But why? Because the majority of children’s music (or music FOR children) is the most sickly, nauseating namby-pamby, patronising nonsense which is constantly on REPEAT on the in-car CD. Not only that but usually its badly arranged/produced and recorded. I’ve lost count of the number of kid’s songs that just have one acoustic guitar strumming away with a soulless female soprano voice warbling over it in that condescending way, over-enunciating every syllable so that the children can understand what they are saying. Children might be young but when it comes to music they most definitely are not stupid, so why treat them so? Just because they’re not at school yet it doesn’t mean they can’t dig a soulful groove or house beat.

As soon as they reach an age where they can CHOOSE what music they listen to (instead of having it forced upon them) they instantly go for pop music with sophisticated production (if not songwriting) which they can FEEL. My 5 and 8 year olds are forever dancing round the living room to Rhianna and Katy Perry or singing along at the top of their voice to Taylor Swift. This music EXCITES them and, although its very much aimed AT them the production values are still top notch.

I’ve been involved in arranging kids music, producing children’s music and even writing music for children. None of what I produce patronises children, it engages them. Wherever possible I try to be imaginative with the feel and style of a piece and not go for the obvious, especially when re-working old favourites.

If you’re looking for something different from the usual choice of trite kid’s music you could do worse than check out Lindy Lou’s Vol.1 (Vol.2 coming soon) www.lindylou’s.co.uk All original songs written by Lynne MacLaughlan and myself.

You can hear lots of my work as an arranger on to CDs for Jo Jingles www.jojingles.co.uk – Jo visits the farm and Jo keep fit.

The Wheels on the Bus is touring throughout the UK in 2012 www.thewheelsonthebus.info – packed with fun, non-patronising arrangements of classic nursery rhymes!

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