September 1, 2010 at 9:09 pm , by Louise Sloan
It was a rockin’ end-of-summer for my 4-year-old son, Scott (that’s him at right in his electric guitar shirt), and me. Week before last was Scott’s music camp, where director Jeremy Zmuda brought in a different band every day (bluegrass, Caribbean, Brazilian, Bulgarian), shot the video for his new kids’ album, Use Your Words, and recorded a CD of the campers singing and playing instruments along with all the special guests. Right after camp, we hopped in a rental car and drove the six hours to Grandma’s house, blasting Jeremy’s catchy tunes with good-behavior-encouraging lyrics and belting out the cool world-music songs Scott learned at camp (thanks to the CD, I got to learn them, too). We were so busy singing that we only got to one of the videos I’d brought to entertain Scott with on the long drive, and both of us had fun.
Same story on the way back home this past Monday. We have a new friend in the neighborhood, Nelson Serieux (stage name Cherry L, photo at left), who gave us a homemade CD. I had low expectations—sure, aspiring singer/songwriter, how cute. Then we popped the CD into the car stereo Monday and I was blown away. The man should be selling out arenas. Every song was top-40 infectious—kind of reggae/pop/r&b/hip-hop fusion—and Scott couldn’t get enough, so we spent nearly 6 hours singing along with Nelson, the videos and car games forgotten. Scott’s fave was “Please Stay” (“I don’t want to see you go-oh-oh” belted Scott), which we probably replayed at least 25 times (glad I liked it, since I can’t get it out of my head). I had my own favorites, like crossover-hit-sounding “Candy” and the more dancehall-style “Turn Me Loose,” best breakup song I’ve heard in awhile (I’m a single mom, what can I say?). Best of all, Nelson is someone Scott knows, so I took the teachable-moment opportunity and told Scott if he practiced, maybe he could do that, too. When we got home and checked out some of the Cherry L videos on YouTube, Scott said, admiringly, “Nelson had to practice a lot to sing like that.” Lesson absorbed, ding!
Well, he’s no Scott Sloan, but Joe Jonas and his brothers (screeeeeeam!!) and Demi Lovato are back at music camp themselves this Friday, September 3, when Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam premieres on the Disney Channel (8 pm ET/PT). For the occasion, Radio Disney shared some exclusive data with Ladies’ Lounge on the impact of music in the lives of kids and moms. Basically, it’s what Scott and I have been living this past week: Kids love music, it’s a great way for moms and their kids to connect, and it benefits kids creatively and intellectually. More specifics after the jump.
One thing moms and kids can agree on? Music is cool! According to Radio Disney’s recent survey of moms nationwide and their kids age 9-14 (data released exclusively to Ladies’ Home Journal), kids rate music high on the list of their favorite activities, and the majority of moms see music as being beneficial, stimulating kids’ creativity (84%) and intellectual development (77%). Moms also think music helps their child become well-rounded (79%) and teaches discipline through learning to play an instrument or to sing (72%). Yep, I’m not the only “teachable moment” parent out there! Piano lessons, here we come…
Music can calm a cranky child. It actually worked for my 4-year-old on that endless car trip. (Thanks, Jeremy and Nelson!) The tweens surveyed said that music puts them in good mood (75%) or leaves them feeling relaxed (56%) or energized (54%) after listening to some tunes. Nearly one in two (45%) feel inspired, while another 38 percent get creative when they are engrossed in music.
Music can bring moms and kids closer. Instead of being in our own separate zoned-out states on that car ride, Scott and I were bonding over beats (he loved the percussive “zoop” of a synthesizer in one of Nelson’s songs) and talking about the tunes. We’re not alone. In Radio Disney’s survey, over four in five (83%) moms say they listen to music with their 9-14-year-old because it’s fun, while 66 percent enjoy singing along to the music with their child. This isn’t just mom’s point of view, either. Over three in five (61%) 9-14-year-olds say they listen to music with their parents because they have fun together.
Do you and your kids bond over music? Or do you argue over genres? Any shared favorites? Tell all!
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