Missed Music

Music you didn’t know you needed…until now.

The Friday mix: more music you and your children will both like

Happy Friday, everyone. Today I am returning to the topic of music I share with my daughter. There are two things I would encourage all parents to do. First, read to your kids. Really, they learn so much from it. Vocabulary, sentence structure, inflection, how stories work… Plus, although I’m not a fan of the concept of “quality time,” reading qualifies if anything does.

Mine does this when it's time for homework.

The second thing all parents should do is share music with your kids. It’s even better if you make music of your own. If you play an instrument you can teach them, let them play an easier instrument, or just let them sing along. If not, you can still appreciate music with them. They learn a lot from that as well and teaching them how to enjoy music – to really listen and appreciate it – will give them joy all through their lives. My daughter is 8 and already has a pretty sophisticated ear. I love to watch her develop her own tastes and to be enthusiastic about something she’s hearing.

I’ve written up a couple of mixes on this topic already and I might return to this topic again some time. If you’re struggling to think of songs that would be appropriate for kids and that you would both like, try these. I’ve had a lot of success with them.

  1. Angelique Kidjo – Voodoo Child
    I have some Jimi Hendrix doing his own music on my daughter’s mix, but this cover is updated and funky. This song is on her album, “Oremi,” but here’s a link to a good live performance.
  2. Billy Joel – Don’t Ask Me Why
    Billy Joel made an appearance on Sesame Street, which gave him an in with my daugter. She likes the bossa nova beat and the “I told you so” lyrics.
  3. Bruce Springsteen – Hungry Heart
    I must have played “Born to Run” for my daughter a dozen times, but this is the Bruce song she likes best.
  4. Cibo Matto – Spoon
    My daughter likes Cibo Matto, which is one of the reasons I think she’s the coolest kid in her class.
  5. David Mead – I Like to Run, I Like to Jump
    From the compilation, “For the Kids Too.” A pretty little song with some delightful flute work.
  6. Frank Sinatra – On the Sunny Side of the Street
    A song this happy and catchy can hardly miss. We sang this together walking around San Francisco while on vacation this year.
  7. Harry Belafonte – Jump in the Line
    Calypso beat, horns, and Harry’s energetic delivery make this irresistible.
  8. Jack Johnson – Mudfootball (For Moe Lerner)
    The entire Curious George soundtrack is good for kids, but this one from “Brushfire Fairytales” is my daughter’s favorite one to sing.
  9. Jessca Hoop – Summertime
    This is just a great melody and if you’ve never heard it, you will like it as much as my family does.
  10. Lenny Kravitz – Let Love Rule
    The positive message, uplifting chord progression, and broad harmony vocals make this a winner. The sax solo is just gravy.
  11. Macy Gray – Hey Young World
    I like Macy’s cover more than the Slick Rick original. Check the lyrics; it may be the most positive message a kid can hear.
  12. Musical Youth – Pass the Dutchie
    My daughter is delighted that the lead singer was only 15 when they recorded this international hit.
  13. Peter Frampton – Rocky’s Hot Club
    A cute song about how much he loves the dog he got for Christmas as a kid. He also gets a little help from Stevie Wonder on harmonica.
  14. The Puppini Sisters – Walk Like an Egyptian
    Sounds like the Andrews Sisters covering the Bangles. The lyrics are cool and the jazz is hot.
  15. Raymond Scott – Powerhouse
    You know a lot of Raymond Scott music because Carl Stalling adapted it for use in over 100 Warner Brothers cartoons. The two melodies in this song are instantly recognizable and fun to listen to.
  16. Three Dog Night – Black and White
    A song about racial harmony that makes you want to clap your hands and sing along.
  17. Train – Hey Soul Sister
    My daughter introduced me to this song. She requested it after hearing it on her mom’s satellite radio. Poppy but appealing.
  18. Yael Naim – New Soul
    A simple melody with uncomplicated horns and handclaps. It sounds like it was written for kids, though I don’t believe it was.

Enjoy with some Sunny D, if you can still drink the stuff. Have a great weekend.


May 14, 2010 - Posted by | Children, Classic Rock, Hip Hop, Jazz, Lounge, Mix CD, Popular, R&B, reggae


  1. Yay! I’m so happy to see another post of your daughter’s music so soon. 🙂

    I finally started my Missed Music playlist folder on our itunes. I’m gonna add this to a subfolder tonight! (So much easier than taping CDs!)

    Thanks for another splendid Friday mix.

    Comment by Jenn | May 14, 2010 | Reply

  2. I pulled a whole bunch of music together from her mix the last time I wrote on the topic so I think I have enough for 1 more kid mix. I’m going to keep it in reserve for some Friday when I don’t have time to put together one of the time consuming mix posts.

    I do this for people like you who enjoy the recommendations. Thanks for reading!

    Comment by missedmusic | May 14, 2010 | Reply

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