Little Bit of Linda Book's Philosophy about Kids' Music
It would be
easier to let you know what I write and sing about, of course, if you were sitting
in the audience of a show of mine. If you could be there, here's what you'd find.
My music supports
my basic philosophy: I think that children are growing up too fast, and my songs
let them dwell in the world where children are most comfortable and let them be
kids for a bit longer.
side of it, as I am told by many of you, is that my songs truly remind adults
of what it was to be a child, to take them back to their own childhood and experience
it again. That re-experiencing seems to warm the heart and, for a little while,
it quiets the noisy insistence of modern life.
I grew up in a household where music was ever-present. We always had a piano that
my mother played. I began to play around on the piano when I was about 8.
My mother just
let me pick out songs by ear and in a while I was playing with both right and
left hands, with very questionable technique, I am sure.
sang a lot. We sang when my mother played piano. We sang at Christmas time when
the whole family was around. We sang in the car on road trips.
don't remember anyone not singing for fear of not sounding good, which brings
me to a very important point.
Say, "But I Can't Sing"
I hear parents and teachers say that they never sing because someone told them
early on that they could not sing. I always feel very disheartened about those
early experiences. Everyone should sing, regardless of voice.
have become so accustomed to being passive with regard to music--to just listening
to it, to watching music videos, to listening to the "experts" sing--that we have
lost the fundamental joy of joining our own voice with others in song. It is one
of the community experiences that we are in danger of losing.
Music for Babies
adults seem eager to enroll children as young as 18 months (children that I refer
to as BABIES) in music CLASSES. In my opinion, it is like trying to teach a dog
to pronounce vowels. It's frustrating for the teacher, and the dog doesn't like
it that much either.
of 18 months learn from emulating what happens in the most important environment
in their lives (and the primary one that they really pay attention to)--the home.
you like music, your child will like music. You are the love object. You are the
one who matters most deeply to your baby.
lullabies when you rock your child to sleep in the rocking chair. Have a waking
up song. Have riding in the car cassettes. Sing along. Be playful.
True Story from My Experience
was a family with three children who regularly attended all my concerts near their
home. They would drive as much as an hour to a show, and I came to know them from
their smiling faces in the crowd -- the older ones singing along, the littlest
guy, about six month's propped on mom's lap, clapping or swaying.
the youngest was 22 months old, I had a call from the mother. I was surprised
to hear from her.
said, "Linda, I am so frustrated. Timothy loves your songs. He is just starting
to talk, and he sings them in the car, or at home with me when we are there. He
seems to love all music."
said, "That's great."
went on. "Yes, well I decided to enroll him in a music class twice a week. Well,
we go there, and he never pays attention. He gets kind of cross or 'hyper' and
doesn't pay attention at all."
replied very slowly. "Kathy, he's a BABY. He doesn't need music classes to love
music. He has got his entire life to learn music in a formal setting. What he
needs to learn now is what it means to be a part of your family, and the essential
ingredient of music for him now is that his family loves music and sings and has
are tending to rely on all sorts of other people to be the early socializing agents
for our children, but it doesn't work. Why should a toddler try to please another
adult, when developmentally he or she is geared to pleasing a parent. It is the
parent who is the loved one, not the music teacher.
said that she would pull him out of the music class, but also said that he loved
to do somersaults on the floor, so maybe she would use the money to enroll him
heart was so heavy that it felt like lead.
here is some advice to you, from me, a purveyor of music for your children: Buy
music that both of you like, so you listen to it together, and sing the songs
don't really believe in songs for adults as being separate from songs for children.
Good music is good music. Memorable lyrics are memorable lyrics.
that touch the heart, that are childlike without being childish, lift the human
deeply, sing heartily, laugh boldly, cry tenderly--it's what makes us human!
to Linda's albums