November 12, 2019 — By Wendy Sachs
Music is so essential for all of us. Choosing great music for the youngest kids is important especially since kids love repetition and you will be listening to these songs over and over. Here is our top 10 list in an attempt to go above and beyond the standards!
- Let’s start with a standard- “Do-Re-Mi” from the musical The Sound of Music. It really lays out music by introducing scales and is easy to sing along. We have yet to meet the child who will not sing along to this classic.
- “Let There Be Peace On Earth” was written in 1955 for the International Children’s Choir. There is a great version of this recorded by Vince Gill. It’s a beautiful melody with a message to match.
- A fun option is to get a picture book and recording of “Peter and the Wolf” by Prokofiev. It uses different instruments to represent different characters in the story. It helps children learn to associate images in their brains with different sounds and to listen carefully to subtle differences in the sounds they hear.
- For just some fun, let’s add “Bohemian Rhapsody”- the Muppet Version to our list. It is rocking and fun and I bet you can’t sit still. A great way to introduce your toddler to air guitar.
- For a beautiful lullaby, check out Lisa Loeb’s version of “What the World Needs Now”. A great song that you are familiar with and is more interesting than Rock-a-Bye-Baby.
- “Rhapsody in Blue” is a beautiful and easy piece of classical music for everyone to love. Try putting it on in the background and enjoy the beautiful melody and fun rhythms from one of America’s most prolific composers- Irving Berlin.
- Talking about cool – check out really anything by They Might Be Giants. This indie rock group now produces the best crop of kids music that is fun, educational and you won’t tire of it easily. A favorite is the “Alphabet of Nations”.
- No list would be complete without a little Americana- so let’s add “America the Beautiful” with its soaring melody and lyrics with words like “majesty”, it can add a lot to your playlist.
- We are already to number 9 and we haven’t added a Disney song. Most of these are fairly familiar to you- but to dig a little deeper check out “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” from Cinderella. It’s a beautiful song and is often overlooked. Another bonus song is “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story- if you can sing it without crying.
- Last but not least is really two songs mashed together. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” record by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Even though you can’t pronounce his name, this Hawaiian artist makes you happy and sad all at once. And the lyrics for both songs are wonderful messages for kids to sing.