Thank you to those who commented on the last post! I was asking the question because I was stuck on figuring out a particular magical adventure in my MG fantasy, and I wanted to see what, if any, were some common threads that wove throughout most people’s childhood dreams. There was one, too! It was … flying, whether on winged horses, flying carpets, or just on one’s own. Pretty neat, to see how much so many very different people have in common from childhood.
And now on to today’s topic, which is, as the title suggests, music.
My sister and I were very fortunate, growing up. We had parents who refused to listen to, or allow us to listen to, bad music. So my childhood music memories include listening to Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf; making up dances to Bach; humming John Denver along with Dad; and taking naps accompanied by songs about phonics (“Apple, apple, a,a,a”) and Spanish-to-English translations of simple phrases, also set to music.
Thanks to such a diverse and rich background musically (I don’t really remember listening to much kid’s music at all, except for Raffi, naturally, and Peter, Paul, and Mary, and the aforementioned tape with the learning songs on it – which I now have in CD form for my littles), I find that I still appreciate a wide variety of music. Different sorts for different moods or needs! I like:
Beethoven or Hayden for cleaning
Mozart-Handel-Brahms-etc. for relaxing
Bach for inspiration
And for just general listening, or if I need a specific kind of music for a specific kind of story: Owl City; Regina Spektor; Marina and the Diamonds (some); Lenka; Ingrid Michaelson; Kate Nash or Lily Allen (some); and, of course, Michael Buble.
And then there’s the Celtic music I like, whether instrumental or with vocals. And thanks to growing up with a string-pickin’ father, I’m a sucker for American folk music.
I’m trying to imitate that same sort of diverse background for my littles; we do have a bunch of children’s music, but it is all either Raffi (EVERY kid needs to grow up listening to Baby Beluga, which my Joy freely adapts into “Heaven above and the sea below, and a little white hi-ip-po – whee, whee, whee!”), or more folk music, adapted for kids. We are big fans of Elizabeth Mitchell and Lisa Loeb! More often, they listen to whatever Carl and I are listening to – which can be anything from instrumental hymns to Brahms to Michael Buble!
Do you have music that you listen to for specific tasks? When you write, do you have music playing in the background, or do you need silence, or does it depend on the story (it does for me – some stories I need to write in silence, while some require music to put me in the proper mindset)? What sort of music did you listen to as a kid, and do you still find yourself drawn to that sort of music now?
Disclaimer: I am not associated or affiliated with any of the artists mentioned in this post; the opinions therein are my own.