(This is part two of two posts on music and parenting – see part one here.)
One of my earliest memories is sitting cross legged on a plywood dance floor, under a big white tent at some music festival, clapping as my uncle played banjo up on stage. This weekend I relived that moment through the eyes of my two year-old son as he sat on the grass clapping along to a band playing under a big white tent at the Greenriver Festival in Greenfield, Massachusetts. The similarities were striking, but there was a fundamental difference.
When I sat at the edge of the stage, looking up at my uncle strumming on that banjo, I thought for sure he was playing just for me. When my son sat in the grass this past weekend, the music actually was really just for him, in a sense. That’s because we were at the “Meltdown Stage,” which featured an entire line-up of two days worth of music just for kids. While lots of festivals have kids areas, no other festival I know of has a full stage set aside for kids.
This signals two things to me: 1) We live in a wonderful area, with a great kids music scene driven mainly by Bill Childs whose weekend radio show, “Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child,” provides a welcome antidote to Saturday morning cartoons, and 2) These days, kids music is much more than lullaby CDs and campfire sing-alongs. Continue reading