In this video I explore the deficiencies of products claiming to help teach young babies about music: musical toys and nursery rhythms especially. Along the way I make reference to studies including one interesting experiment by the well known YouTuber, Rick Beato.
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A decent book on the subject, written for non-musicians
Fascinating talk about how children learn language
The Brahms Lullaby on Three Row Melodeon
An app founded by Rick Beato which delivers playlists chosen to develop babies’ musical ears
Improving early child development with words - Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald
The linguistic genius of babies - Patricia Kuhl
Note: if you hadn't already guessed, the video of the baby playing guitar isn't real!
I have never heard that babies can't deal with large amounts of notes on many different octaves, before. That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. It is no different I suppose than saying babies don't like black, dark or bright colours; which is why items for babies are extremely pale colours. Why can't a baby have black clothes?
+Tantacrul Cool. Another topic for a Tantacrul rant: The Moog Modular 35 app they made for iPhone...did you see that? They'd literally recreated the UI of the hardware and gave you a matchbox size portal with which to interact with. Lunacy! (Ps - I make nice synth posters - check 'em out: www.synthevolution.net - and tell your friends! :-)
counter-intuitive argument follows:
just don't teach babies - its bad for them. it will give them headaches later on. they won't thank you for having soft brains hardened up too young, which makes learning later on a painful experience, they become inflexible. Let them pick it up for them self at their own pace. wait until they're 7 years old before teaching them.
early child genius-making, what that is is programming little robotic morons who become unable to question things later on - it literally hurts their heads.
I'm currently in Uni studying music, and although most people are pretty shocked I'm a musician and my mum is Deaf I think it helped a lot in this early stage. We had a piano, and my grandparents had gotten me a few other instruments since I seemed to like them so much, including a mini guitar (not ukelele everyone always called it a ukelele it's 6 strings tuned like a guitar) and a mini accordion, and I had basically free reign of all of those instruments during my free time. Because my mum was Deaf I had no limits on what type of sounds I made, I think a large amount of the disdain for dissonance isn't for the babies' sake, it's for the parents. Adults don't want to hear minor seconds being smashed on a piano in quick succession with off key wailing. But if we think about how babies learn speech, they don't do things "right" the first time, they have to develop an understanding of what they are capable of.
THANK YOU for showing the gamelan
I kind of wish now that I was more exposed to these different varieties of music when I was just a baby, but at least I got to start participating in a Balinese gamelan ensemble when I was only 12, thanks to a wonderful elementary music teacher! And being able to discover microtonal music on my own. Been enjoying it all ever since!
I've just put M-Audio Axion 49 on accessible shelf hooked up to my old laptop (at the higher shelf) with DAW setup to switch presets on VST from the buttons under the mixer, pads dedicated for some drum/sfx samples. And my kid plays with it as he likes, I show him ways to play it from time to time, even though I'm amateur at keys.
All I can say is that he really is sensitive to sound and music, has his preferences. And although he likes nursery rhymes for some reason (there are better versions than examples in this video), he also likes Vulfpeck, some IDM and other interesting things. Don't remember examples of what he doesn't like, but there were some.
So you send the first half of this advocating variety in music for babies,
but then complain about the potential influence when a YouTube channel mixes up the chord progression because the music raises a question when the lyrics aren’t?
i was stoned out of my mind at the eastern european equivalent of toys r us a few months back and suddenly got the urge to jam on some baby toys but i quickly realized that almost all keyboards ONLY had the major scale (one did have a weird combination of major and whole tone; why?). proceeded to go on a huge rant that my friend had to listen to for the rest of the day.
im assumed the reason for that is twofold:
a) not to annoy parents with their baby procedurally and mercilessly bashing out twelve tone series and studies in dissonance.
b) and this is the most frightening, to attempt to force a positive, happy atmosphere for the baby (which is obviously not how music works in broad terms and the major scale in particular). i mean at that point why even bother raising a kid, when they're obviously gonna call you a terrible parent in 15 years anyway
thanks for collecting and enhancing my sentiments in this video. thanks for being super critical and analytical of everything in general
ps fuck you dad not being able to avoid housing isnt about being lazy
Ah, yes! Great video, this needs to be pointed out more. All this obsession with simplicity and a bottom-up approach is completely contrary to updated learning theory and how children learn every single other skill in life. I wonder if it's a consequence of the garbage educational system many parts of the western world have had for so long.
I think people misunderstand the purpose of nursery rhymes and lullaby's. Most are adaptations of folk songs, which are easily passed on, easily playable on many different instruments, and easy to sing (the melodies generally are, anyway, there's some crazy folk music out there). Especially considering most were written in the years prior to recorded music, their purpose is not to gradually ease a child into music and "make them smarter", the purpose was to preserve local/cultural/generational melodies and make music easily accessible to common folk. Lullaby's are again, simple and relatively memorable melodies that are easy for a non-musically trained parent to sing to a child on a regular basis as a source of comfort or for family unity, entertainment, for ease of participation of younger children, etc. All of these purposes are still perfectly valid, but being played through a chunk of plastic isn't going to make a child smarter.
"Lord knows dissonance is bad for babies"
Hahaha, too true. We're so brainwashed by radio pop to be averted to anything *remotely* dissonant. Have a listen to Turkish or Hungarian pop or folk music.
I've been trying to convince my friends to get their kid to listen to proper music in the car. Not so that the kid becomes a musical genius, but just so we don't have to listen to shit music on repeat for the next eight years.
Carrie and David Grant based their 'Popshop' show on a similar premise for children's music. It should be listenable, interesting, and deliberate. They're aiming at older children, and teaching composition as much as anything else, so their goal is a bit different, but the principles are the same: If an adult would find this tune boring, stupid, and/or annoying, then it's no good for kids either.
I’m lucky my mom was one of those “Beethoven playing through a speaker next to the womb” types from the get-go. It just seems like a missed opportunity to waste formative years listening to piss poor examples of music.
THAT PLATE. THAT IS COMEDY GOLD.
I have a daughter. She is now 23months old.
Cameo ; White Stripes ; Jet ; Queen ; Cake ; The Hooters ; Gnarls Barkley ; Devo ; System of a Down ; Church of the Cosmic Skull ; Ghost ; Ben Caplan
And every night since day 1 - Riven, Myst, Myst III, Myst IV, Diary of Edith Finch ; Obduction ; Myst V. On a loop. Recently she started requesting it on even before she goes to sleep.
Shame she didn't take a liking do Debussey in her early months. But she does enjoy Elisabethan chamber music and folk in general.
She also enjoys crap-pop, but you can't win them all.
Kids that "get" good music burn out on crap pop, though. They all go through phases. Just like fast food isn't fulfilling after you become accustomed to world cuisine, she'll come around :). My 20 month old goes through phases of carefully selected simple music/pop, but I make sure it's the likes of i.e. Abba. She still requests Bach, Howard Shore, Joe Hisaishi, John Williams and Chopin more consistently than pop, though.
I think a good compromise for kids is complex music with memorable melodies and rhythms, i.e. all of the great composers, and specific film composers like Williams.
I’ve had pianos and synths around the house since they were born and my oldest is a better at sight reading for piano than me... 🤔
And hooplakidz are just the worst and kept so far from my kids... though I do like the “super simple songs” they’re actually trying to put out a good product.
I found this video probably because I am a childcare teacher. This year I bought a $200 ukulele so my nice acoustic guitar wouldn't get damaged by the kids. We sing everything with the uke. Instead of listening to that horrid "A is for Apple, A-A-Apple" song, we do call and reply songs about what words start with certain letters. I can throw in any chords I want, and throw in minor and diminished chords with "WHY AREN'T YOU LISTENING" when kids get restless. My colleagues have all refused my offers to teach them chords and prefer these shitty nursery rhyme videos. And despite it being out for over two years now, we have only just had a centre-wide ban on that monstrosity Baby Shark!
Australia seems to be world class in early childhood. There was a huge overhaul of the system in 2011 when we brought in the Early Years Learning Framework. The style is completely play based now and the improvement on development is staggering. There's talks now of extending the play based style to the age of 7. The only thing that's lacking is how much is educators are paid. Otherwise, I have kids who couldn't count to 5 in January singing songs about the alphabet, counting to 20, all the months and days of the week
Childhood public education is still relatively impoverished at a fundamental level. There are promising movements, though -- the adaptation of new curriculum (up here in Canada anyway) that does away with isolated subjects (you can be creative in math class now), movements like "gameify your classroom", etc. Good on you for caring about what your kids learn! I suppose Maj13#11 chords will be harder to play now on a Uke, though ;).
When I was a toddler my uncle was in his high school. We were given a small 4 octaves keyboard I think and my brother played it until it broke. My father fix it and it broke again after 3 years.
Now my brother has perfect pitch.
My dad is a Ska and Reggae musician so my parents never really played nursery rhymes for me while growing up, instead I grew up listening to Madness, Skatalites, Jimmy Cliff, Fabulosos Cadillacs, and so on. My mother liked rock music instead so she's play Beatles or Soda Stereo to me. Regardless of whether I'm a decent musician or not, I did end up loving music and chose that as my major in college. I probably would've despised music if all my exposure came from these awful low quality garbage videos.
Likewise, a friend of mine who grew up in a household where they'd play Messiaen, Wagner and Stravinsky to her since she was born, instead of being shocked as a kid or anything, just came to love that music, and is probably the most knowledgeable among my classmates when it comes to classical European music.
I find this video interesting cus I remember my parents playing me a lot of “experimental” music along with the usual childrens songs. My mom is big on classical, but along with the usual Mozart’s and Telemann’s she also played recordings of The Rite Of Spring and I believe a few Toshiro Mayuzumi compositions like the Nirvana symphony. Apparently I didn’t really shriek in terror towards musical dissonance as a kid so that really helps your argument.
Wait a minute.
Wait a *fucking* minute.
THEY I-V-vi-IV'd THE WHEELS ON THE BUS??
This is out of control. (and yes, I'm proposing "I-V-vi-IV" as a verb. If jazz musicians get away with "twoing the five", then this should be acceptable as well.)
Also, nice to mention Rick Beato's example. That man's a wonderful, cranky son-of-a-bitch, and we love him.
I started doodling around with instruments propably as soon as I was able to hold my head. My oldest memories are always in regard to music. My niece, 2 years, will get her first keyboard this christmas.
I see your point, but... What about those of us musically challenged? I practically stopped all public singing at the age of 12 (until now, for my son) because of how horrendously bad it was. Am I not doing the same thing the toys and the bad nursery rhymes are? Yes, I could have spent time studying music but I had no interest. I could do it now, but frankly again no interest really and very little time.
Even if your musical skill is lacking, the interaction with your son will always be a positive. If you're really interested in making sure the music is quality, play him some classical or swing or really anything that isn't from one of these terrifying children's YouTube channels or TV shows.
If you can stand to hear it being played all the time, get a cheap little children's drum or a Walmart electric keyboard. Normally you can pick something like that up for $60 or less, which is chump change in the world of baby products.
First I found your video on Sibelius' interface and loved that because I'm a software developer that actually cares about creating usable UI and it drives me crazy when others, often companies with relatively unlimited resources, don't. I was hoping for more videos on interfaces of other programs, so took a look at your videos and oh... they're generally about music, but hey I have an interest (though basic knowledge and zero skill) in music theory, let's try. Watched your video on Hallelujah and agreed with and loved that. Then I saw this and agreed with and loved this. 3 out of 3 with great production and highly entertaining, that's a subscribe from me!
When I was very young (like, less than a year old) my parents got me hooked on these DVDs from a program called "Baby Einstein," which, in addition to a lot of other well-crafted educational material, had a few DVDs dedicated to music education, all based on different composers (I've been told Baby Mozart was my favorite). They'd play covers of great classical compositions and supplement them with eyecatching imagery like swinging pendulums and models of the planets and whatnot. To be honest, a lot of my seemingly natural abilities with music could be attributed to my parents developing my musical mind the way they did at such an early age. I'm definitely going to play those DVDs for my kids if I can still find them.
I don't think there would be anything wrong with "Wheels on the bus" using a vi chord if the resolution proceeded sensibly. In F major, for example, a progression from Dm Am Dm Gm7 C7 F would be more interesting than limiting things to F, C, and Bb chords. Increasing the harmonic flavor would be good if it were done right. I'll agree that the arrangement you played was pretty inane, however.
A baby banging on a xylophone in c major will be much less obnoxious than a baby banging on a full chromatic xylophone. Just a thought, but oversimplified baby instruments might be designed to give the baby an instrument while also showing the parents some mercy.
*bangs B and F for the whole day*
buddy if you want safety then go to pentatonic
*bangs in general*
nope get rid of it
*bangs everything else*
get a straightjacket and a soundproof padded cell
*continues to flop around for years*
ok they're stupid send them to school
*gets expelled by the power of...* *ＭＵＬＴＩＰＬＥ* *ＭＥＮＴＡＬ* *ＤＩＳＯＲＤＥＲＳ*
I think it's safe to assume you have a higher tolerance for dissonance than most (i.e. not musically trained) parents. Not that I disagree with your idea that baby proofed instruments with full chromatic scales should be available for those who would like that sort of thing.
I feel so justified hearing all of this. People show babies total crap when we could have them watch/listen the same things adults would and they would get so much smarter later. Just imagine the potential
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