Is there any music that's NOT Ok for kids to listen to? - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was wondering about this today as DS and I were in the car.

Excluding the obvious- music with violent/sexed up hate filled foul language in it- is there any music you don't allow your children to listen to?

What got me thinking is we had a Beatles CD on and DS (2.5) fell in love with I am the Walrus. Half way through the 3rd time he requested it I began to think if the complexity fo the song is too much for DS? Some songs can actually sound scary I suppose to little ears. But "classic" music always seems so innocent.

I don't know...just was wondering today.
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Old 01-07-2010, 07:42 PM
 
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Hardcore Gangster Rap is not okay w/me.

Honestly, I've sheltered the kids from some more sad lyrics from say, Kimya Dawson (like her song 12/26) but I tend to like pretty soft music. DP, meanwhile, does a LOT of editing and I think he could do a little bit more.

DD *loved* Les Mis when she was younger (which meant, of course, that DS got to love it too ). We generally skipped over the a couple of the songs dealing with prostitution, though. Then, at 4, we realized she was reading the lyrics in the case when she asked what kind of name "Pimp" was

A friend's DD would sing the Johnny Cash song with "I shot a man in Reno..." which was pretty funny coming from a 5 year old. One of DS' friends got really into Kurt Cobain around 6 years old which was just ODD to me and really more than a little freaky.

 

 

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Old 01-07-2010, 07:47 PM
 
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Just kind of had the realization that DD (4.5) is really listening to lyrics. The Who's "Behind Blue Eyes" was on the radio, and she wanted to know which "Batman" the guy was singing about...

Anyway, I'm concerned about lyrics, because I believe there is power in language and some things a 4.5YO doesn't need to be aware of. But, I'm not as worried about themes as much as about vulgarity, really.

I'm also concerned with crappy music. I don't want her exposed to cheesy stuff before her time!

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Old 01-07-2010, 08:01 PM
 
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The only thing mine don't listen to is rap.

Other than that, they're pretty well stuck listening to whatever dh and I are listening to. My 7 year old loves AFI so we listen to that alot and they both know lots of 30 Seconds to Mars and Incubus, because that's what I listen to. Course they must just be happy with my selections because dh is always listening to NPR.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:02 PM
 
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Well, I think there is a difference between what can be damaging (the sexed-up and violent songs, songs about killing yourself, and the songs that make self-deprecation seem harmless) and what can be entertaining. Better yet is to find music that is enriching.

I personally think that the best music for kids is one that they can be exposed to in order to appreciate the art of music. That doesn't mean it has to be Bach and Mozart and Shostakovitch all the time. Most music has something positive to give to anyone, including kids. I think that any music that brings a kid down... things that promote anything negative... is not good. Kids are such sponges and lyrics are NOT AT ALL lost on them. For us, and this is only my opinion, I would never let dd listen to country music, rap, or heavy metal/speed metal because I can't PERSONALLY find any redeeming qualities in them. Those are not enriching to us, as a family.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I think there is a difference between what can be damaging (the sexed-up and violent songs, songs about killing yourself, and the songs that make self-deprecation seem harmless) and what can be entertaining. Better yet is to find music that is enriching.

I personally think that the best music for kids is one that they can be exposed to in order to appreciate the art of music. That doesn't mean it has to be Bach and Mozart and Shostakovitch all the time. Most music has something positive to give to anyone, including kids. I think that any music that brings a kid down... things that promote anything negative... is not good. Kids are such sponges and lyrics are NOT AT ALL lost on them. For us, and this is only my opinion, I would never let dd listen to country music, rap, or heavy metal/speed metal because I can't PERSONALLY find any redeeming qualities in them. Those are not enriching to us, as a family.

What about artists like Tori Amos (one of my personal favs) whose lyrics I think are so obscure that I even have a hard time figuring out what the hell she's going on about? I know that she has some very strong opinions on things way beyond what I want DS exposed to at this age but they are cleverly disguised, most of the time. But music itself, the piano, the rhythm I think is amazing.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:17 PM
 
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If I'd be embarassed if she sang the lyrics in front of someone, that's probably a good indication that she shouldn't be hearing them.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:26 PM
 
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What about artists like Tori Amos (one of my personal favs) whose lyrics I think are so obscure that I even have a hard time figuring out what the hell she's going on about? I know that she has some very strong opinions on things way beyond what I want DS exposed to at this age but they are cleverly disguised, most of the time. But music itself, the piano, the rhythm I think is amazing.
I don't know this artist, so I couldn't really tell you.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:35 PM
 
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The only types of music that I try to avoid around the kids are things with lyrics I don't want to explain, or have repeated, and most "children's music", specifically the monotonous, uninspired stuff.

My kids LOVE Johnny Cash.
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Old 01-07-2010, 08:57 PM
 
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What about artists like Tori Amos (one of my personal favs) whose lyrics I think are so obscure that I even have a hard time figuring out what the hell she's going on about? I know that she has some very strong opinions on things way beyond what I want DS exposed to at this age but they are cleverly disguised, most of the time. But music itself, the piano, the rhythm I think is amazing.
A little OT, but Tori Amos has a really beautiful winter CD out. I generally hate cheesy holiday music, but this is a beautiful, solstice inspired CD. You might enjoy it. I gave it to my dd for the holidays
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:04 PM
 
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We don't do a lot of the current music that seems to wax poetic about strippers and certain kinds of drinks and basically totally revolving around using and abusing women, or worshipping them as sexual objects. The same for violence, though I've not seen as much of that as I did when I was a teen. (During the Dr. Dre hayday.)
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:22 PM
 
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We actually don't shelter DD from music. I mean when I was 2 years older then her, I was writing some pretty offensive/violent songs myself.

We do draw a line though... No Psudo-singers who can't carry a tune, write a song and/or play an insturment. No bubble gum pop. Basically none of that new crap they call music.

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Old 01-07-2010, 09:33 PM
 
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If I'd be embarassed if she sang the lyrics in front of someone, that's probably a good indication that she shouldn't be hearing them.
I learned this when my daughter was singing "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" at the top of her lungs on her way into Vacation Church School.

I stopped listening to a lot of musicals, which is my favorite style, when the kids were singing back the lyrics and I realized how inappropriate it was. Rent, Spring Awakening, Avenue Q. When they were climbing on the table to pretend to light the Advent wreath while singing "We could light the candle" I transferred it all to my MP3 player and made it my gym music.

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Old 01-07-2010, 09:45 PM
 
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By and large, if we listen to it, I have no problem with the kids listening to it. I listen to some stuff that's overly sexual, and try to limit it around the kids, but I don't have a "never play this" policy or anything. If they ask a lot of questions, I'll give them a very simple answer, and then explain that they can get more detail when they're older. I don't really worry that much about being embarrassed by inappropriate quoting of lyrics, though. Kids can find so many other ways to embarrass a parent. My kids don't hear much rap (dh likes a few rap songs, but it's not something I'm into at all), and very little current pop, as we don't listen to the radio. What they hear is when they're at a friend's house.

I took ds1 to see Iron Maiden when he was 7. I'm sure that's outside some people's comfort zone, but Maiden is huge in my life...and ds1 is still a fan. In fact, he went to see them again, with me and dh, last year.

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Old 01-07-2010, 09:52 PM
 
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I think this is mostly a matter of personal taste. I wouldn't play Tool or other "heavy" type of music for my son, but then I don't listen to that stuff myself.

My son does hear a lot of hip hop, particularly Outkast, Cee-Lo, etc, all of whom I adore, but then we live in Atlanta so it's only to be expected.

I think exposing my son to as much variety as possible is our goal and then seeing what piques his interest with time. lately I've been playing him old ELO and Beatles too.
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Old 01-07-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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I think this is mostly a matter of personal taste. I wouldn't play Tool or other "heavy" type of music for my son, but then I don't listen to that stuff myself.

My son does hear a lot of hip hop, particularly Outkast, Cee-Lo, etc, all of whom I adore, but then we live in Atlanta so it's only to be expected.

I think exposing my son to as much variety as possible is our goal and then seeing what piques his interest with time. lately I've been playing him old ELO and Beatles too.


I play tool for my kid, and a perfect circle and Tori Amos (she LOVES Tori) and drum and bass and Fleet Foxes (this is what she goes to bed with) and anything else we listen to. I watch out for bad language and that is it.

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Old 01-07-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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I think everyone knows their own kiddo on this one, and it will change over time. Right now, DS (4) is really trying to understand death and routinely tried out words like kill, die, blood, etc. I would steer him clear of anything that would cause his little brain to explode right now surrounding this kind of stuff.
I should add I have no problem with him talking about this stuff, I am just trying to avoid more confusion and turmoil for him right now.

We generally do all types of music though for both kids from old Prince, Frank Black (may 18 month old loves to sing "Skeleton Man"), to The Beatles.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:17 PM
 
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My son does hear a lot of hip hop, particularly Outkast, Cee-Lo, etc, all of whom I adore, but then we live in Atlanta so it's only to be expected.
I think Outkast has some really thoughtful stuff, and also pretty accessible and fun for kids, though my six year old doesn't like them.

As for your concern about "I am the Walrus," OP, when I as 4-ish I was terrified by "Elenor Rigby" and "That'll Be the Day." I think it's probably pretty hard to guess what will get under a kid's skin. My ds loves The Beatles and loves their movies (which I can hardly sit through, lol). I'm pretty sure "I am the Walrus" never bothered him.

And whoever said the thing about crappy music... exactly! I would never play any of the really cheesey gimicky not made with real instruments made to make a bunch of money off of kids type music for my littles but I happily play them stuff with certain kinds of "mature content" (I'm much more worried about about glorifying violence than I am about sex.)

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Old 01-07-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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I generally don't censor anything but songs where every other word is a slur or profanity, or graphic sex or violence.

I also don't think that some kids "get" a lot of even pretty overt (to adults) euphanisms, particularly if they're isolated from most peer groups or people who teach them what it means. I mean, I went though a HUGE monty python fixation when I was 12. I bought a lot of their sketch and song cassettes with my babysitting money. I often greatly enjoyed blasting "Sit On My Face" and singing the lyrics, because I thought it was about sitting on someone's head and farting or something. I had no reference to what "69" or anything else meant. I have to laugh now, because my extremely conservative straight laced parents never said a word (presumably because they didn't want to answer why it was "Bad", but who knows, maybe they didn't get the references either).

I have explained to my kids that different families have different rules for music, just like screen time or movies. No big deal, and my daughter in particular is very good about only playing CDs when her restricted friends are over that they can enjoy.

I'm so not a music snob. I had everything from reggaeton to Chopin to Alphaville to Weird Al (well, okay, a LOT of Weird Al) to Wu Tang Clan to to Twila Paris to Britney to George Strait to Aqua on my Ipod. I look at music the way I do books--sometimes I want serious, sometimes heavy hitting, sometimes inspirational, sometimes raunchy, sometimes I want trance, sometimes I just want ear candy. I'm going to assume that one or more of my children will likely inherit my musical gluttony, no matter what restrictions I place (I was only allowed to listen to hymns, worship music, and classical until I was 11 or so, Monty Python was my first foray into "popular" music. Hahahaha!!!).
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:20 PM
 
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I learned this when my daughter was singing "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" at the top of her lungs on her way into Vacation Church School.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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The Barney versions. They sound normal, albeit annoyingly nasal, until the end when for no reason they exclaim the last few words.

For older kids there's plenty of stuff where I wouldn't necessarily want the hassle of dealing with explaining why it's bad to say the stuff the song sang, so I'd turn that off too.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:38 PM
 
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I mean, I went though a HUGE monty python fixation when I was 12. I bought a lot of their sketch and song cassettes with my babysitting money. I often greatly enjoyed blasting "Sit On My Face" and singing the lyrics, because I thought it was about sitting on someone's head and farting or something.
OMG, Tigerchild You made my day!

I, too, went through a huge Monty Python phase (ongoing) in my early teens, but I knew what "Sit on My Face" was about.

Anyhoo, I let DS listen to anything, I only screen for extremely explicit lyrics (a couple of "F" words don't bother me) and extremely sexual lyrics, but that's about it. He loves lots of different kinds of music just like we do from opera all the way to rap and in between. Johnny Cash, Prince, Outkast, all of those are staples in our music collection. He also likes the more obscure stuff we're really into, like Red Red Meat and Arcwelder.

We took him to see Tori Amos last year, he loved it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:39 PM
 
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I mean, I went though a HUGE monty python fixation when I was 12. I bought a lot of their sketch and song cassettes with my babysitting money. I often greatly enjoyed blasting "Sit On My Face" and singing the lyrics, because I thought it was about sitting on someone's head and farting or something. I had no reference to what "69" or anything else meant. I have to laugh now, because my extremely conservative straight laced parents never said a word (presumably because they didn't want to answer why it was "Bad", but who knows, maybe they didn't get the references either)..


On a recent car trip, I played old Soundgarden, Prince, and Depeche Mode without censoring, but saved Sublime for when the kids were definitely sound asleep. So I guess my line is at Sublime.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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The other day the kids were listening to The White Album for the first time. "Why Don't We Do it in the Road?" came on.

After listening to Paul (or was it John?) yelp this question 5 or 6 times, my 6yo exclaimed in exasperation, "Because you're going to get run over!"

Much discussion ensued with his 9yo brother about what "it" might be. Something against the law was the general consensus. They were completely oblivious to the real meaning.

Unless the language is stuff I wouldn't want them using, I tend to have an "anything goes" approach. Because they just aren't going to get it.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:05 PM
 
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The other day the kids were listening to The White Album for the first time. "Why Don't We Do it in the Road?" came on.

After listening to Paul (or was it John?) yelp this question 5 or 6 times, my 6yo exclaimed in exasperation, "Because you're going to get run over!"

Much discussion ensued with his 9yo brother about what "it" might be. Something against the law was the general consensus. They were completely oblivious to the real meaning.

Unless the language is stuff I wouldn't want them using, I tend to have an "anything goes" approach. Because they just aren't going to get it.
Yes, about some things. Like my dd thinks Rhianna's Shut Up and Drive is about cell phones.

However, Closer by Nine Inch Nails came on the radio (and I have Sirius so not all channels are censored) and I flipped to another channel rather than let her listen.
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Old 01-07-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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What about artists like Tori Amos (one of my personal favs) whose lyrics I think are so obscure that I even have a hard time figuring out what the hell she's going on about? I know that she has some very strong opinions on things way beyond what I want DS exposed to at this age but they are cleverly disguised, most of the time. But music itself, the piano, the rhythm I think is amazing.
My son loves Tori Amos and Evanescence. I don't worry about it too much. If it bothers him I'm pretty sure he'll let me know.

Mind you his favourite song is Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah and that's not always appropriate. So I guess I'm not too controlling about it.

Here's my growing up story - I was THROWN OUT of grade 4 play auditions for auditioning with "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar. I had NO idea Mary Magdalene was a prostitute or whatever. But I got no role in the Sound of Music because of it. Sniff.

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Old 01-07-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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I think it is hilarious when my 4 year old students are singing songs I have never heard before. To this day I have not heard "Riding Dirty" but learned all the words in the summer time from a 3 year old

I don't usually listen to the pop type kind of music. I prefer country

I always try to find music to play for my students that goes with our theme. And I try to expose them to as many kinds as I can during naptime, Mozart, Bach, Jewel As long as there are isn't offensive language or adult themes it is okay in my class.

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Old 01-08-2010, 07:22 AM
 
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I remember going to summer camp as a teenager and the counselors made us censor our music. I think they didn't really care- technically they weren't supposed to let us listen to the stuff that needed censoring at all- but they were afraid one of their supervisors would walk by while it was playing. it was hilarious. The whole cabin would be singing and suddenly someone would dart for the stereo and when it hit the dirty word, they'd turn the volume knob down and the whole place went silent, just for a beat, and then the singing and the music would recommence. Good times that. It STILL took me awhile to figure out what the songs were about!

I was also once in a store that had Jimmy Buffet playing. Wouldn't you know, as soon as this family with small children walked in, "Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw" came up on the CD. The funniest thing was noone changed it, and not a single person seemed to notice. Not even the family. And it was pretty loud, if I do say so myself. I was dying inside.
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Old 01-08-2010, 08:21 AM
 
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My daughter has been singing "Why don't we do it in the road?" lately. MIL was




Sublime is probably a good line, I would agree with that.



You should put a video of the five year old singing "I shot a man in Reno" on youtube. That would be awesome.

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Old 01-08-2010, 08:22 AM
 
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Here's my growing up story - I was THROWN OUT of grade 4 play auditions for auditioning with "I Don't Know How to Love Him" from Jesus Christ Superstar. I had NO idea Mary Magdalene was a prostitute or whatever. But I got no role in the Sound of Music because of it. Sniff.
Aw...that is fail. It doesn't say she was a prostitute.

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