One day my husband asked me if I thought Gabriel (our 7 month old son) was listening to enough music. Clearly we are first-time parents that still think about and sometimes fret over whether or not we are doing "enough." Regardless, I thought it was a good question. I love music! My entire family is musical - either vocally or instrumentally. Music is important to me (and I sing to Gabriel alllllll the time), so I thought about my husband's question and decided that while I have no idea if our son is listening to "enough" music for whatever kind of development doctors like to talk about, I really don't think it would be possible for him to listen to too much music during his playtime when I am otherwise occupied (like right now when I'm blogging and he is happily playing on the floor).
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Ludwig van Beethoven.
We all know that classical music is good for babies, but did you know that (depending entirely on quite possibly hundreds of extraneous factors) it can be good for you, the parent? Well, that's what I've found in my case anyway. I began playing classical music for my son - but I think I have ended up enjoying it more than him! I had nearly forgotten how much I love classical music. It can be so soothing, beautiful, and joyful - which is exactly the kind of music a tired (or not tired) mama can use throughout the day. Don't like Beethoven? Pandora just selects artists based on who you type in, so pick a station based on whoever you like best!
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Did you know that's a Pandora radio station? You can find just about any genre on there. In the past I've selected similar stations based on a specific group of sisters or friars that I like, but this "generic" Gregorian Chant station offers a tad more variety and has yet to disappoint. Bonus: it's pretty much always relaxing and peaceful - so it's the perfect thing to play for your baby when you know it's nearly nap time. ;)
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The Wind Forest from "My Neighbor Totoro."
Haven't heard of Totoro? You may remember that I mentioned my love of this Hayao Miyazaki movie not too long ago. My Neighbor Totoro is an adorable, fun Miyazaki movie that young children will enjoy (my nieces loved it back in December and they were 3.5 and a little over 1.5 years old). Plus, the music is lovely. The Pandora station is great because it plays beautiful soundtrack music - but also plays fun little diddies from Zelda video games, Final Fantasy, and things of the like. It's kind of like listening to a playful, more upbeat classical music station.
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Barenaked Ladies (Children's).
My little boy cannot yet understand that much of the English language and certainly doesn't speak...but sometimes I just want to play some fun "kid songs" for him. After all, he will learn, right? However, let's be real: a lot of children's music is annoying. I remember my older sister mentioning the Barenaked Ladies children's album awhile ago for that very reason; she and my brother-in-law discovered that it was something that they actually enjoyed listening to. Per usual, I think they're right. These songs are so fun! Much more creative and entertaining than some other things on the market.
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Yes, Korean Pop music. Sometimes you get tired of all the soothing, peaceful music and want to dance around to something NOT on a children's station. However, it can be difficult to find popular music here in the States that isn't geared for a "mature" audience. In my experience, Koreans tend to be less openly vulgar than Americans which is something I really appreciate. I mean, most of the lyrics I find are more reminiscent of the innocent boy bands I listened to in the '90s...and even if/when there are more grown-up themes it's in Korean...which means neither I nor my little baby know about it. Big-time bonus: He gets to listen to native Korean speakers! My husband is half-Korean, half-Chinese and I'd love it if our son (and any future children) could speak one or both of those languages.