A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a family-friendly compilation of tunes with a wide appeal. The CD's message is unerringly positive throughout, and the lyrics are wholesome and acceptable for all ages. For example, one song celebrates the boxer Muhammad Ali and touts him as a hero. Toddlers and preschoolers might need more than one listen before the songs grow on them, as the focus is more on meaningful lyrics than on lively, danceable tunes.
What's the story?
Celebrating the joy of music and the diversity around us, LISTEN TO THE MUSIC BAND, a CD release from David Grover and the Big Bear Band, is a compilation of gentle songs for children of all ages. The selections have a definite country and folk flavor, with a hint of gospel and an occasional Latin rhythm to liven things up. Grover's warm and slightly imperfect voice is a nice fit for the simple songs -- which are alternately sweet and stirring but never condescending -- and sound clips of children talking about what music means to them add a touch of poignancy.
Is it any good?
Although some songs will appeal more to certain age groups than others -- "The Ballad of Muhammed Ali," for example, speaks to tweens and up, while the bouncy rhythm and repetitiveness of "Sing Together" will appeal mostly to preschoolers -- the inspiring lyrics are appropriate for any age. And the unabashedly joyful message about music being "the bridge between us all" comes across loud and clear.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what music means to them. Do you like listening to music? What kinds of music or songs do you like? How do your favorite songs or favorite music make you feel? If you play an instrument or sing, what do you enjoy the most about making music? Do you enjoy making music with others? Why?