This is the fourth instalment of "Music for Kids" in which we get to know different families and their go-to music. This week we feature Lovenotes School of Music's Director, Alison, and her family and get the skinny on some rootsy kids music to add to your playlist.
The Mom: Alison Porter - Lovenotes director and professional musician in the all female roots trio Dirty Dishes.
The child: Hazel - 4.5 years old
What kind of music did you listen to before being a mom?
Rootsy folk and folk-rock for the most part - Iron and Wine, Alison Krauss, Blue Rodeo, Milk Carton Kids. Wilco, Neil Young, Sarah Harmer.
What was your favourite music as a small child?
The two records that I remember playing a lot when I was around 5 years old were The Muppet Movie Soundtrack and the Funky Favourites album that featured “The Monster Mash”, “One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater”, “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” , “Leader of the Laundromat” among other awesomely weird songs.
Did you or do you sing your kids lullabies or songs to calm them down?
"Baby Beluga" by Raffi was my go to for rocking my daughter to sleep (and the first sing she sang herself!) I also sing this song in Lovenotes classes and it is a serious hit every time. There is something about the melody and lyrics that seems to instantly speak to all ages - I'm fascinated by this song.
What are your kids favourite songs to dance to?
Splash and Boots' “Antelopes Love Cantaloupes” and Sing-Along-Tim’s folk/rock anthem "Don't Pick Your Nose and Eat It!".
What is your kids favourite music to chill out to?
The Putamayo Folk Sing-Along CD is one of her favourites. This series of CDs is so amazing. Impeccably curated collections of music from all around the world - jazz, klezmer, reggae, blues and more. Easy on the ears for adults with a sweet kiddo twist. There have to be 40 or more CDs in total.
She also loves the ballad “Every Road” written by my bandmate and sung by my trio Dirty Dishes. I am revelling in this time that she actually thinks my band is cool!
What are your kids’ favourite songs to sing?
Right now, anything from Mary Poppins or Moana. I really try to keep screen time at a minimum for my daughter, but I seriously cave when it comes to musicals because I love them so much myself!
Do you have a favourite place in the city that you take your child/children to hear music?
City events or local events like farmers’ markets are my favourite place to take my daughter for live music. The cost is low, and the entertainment is amazing. Also, if a meltdown occurs, then I don’t feel bad about leaving because I didn’t pay much money for it :).
Does your child have an interest in playing an instrument? If so, which one and what was the inspiration for the choice?
I run pre-instrumental music classes for kids, so an instrument was always in her plan - I am sure she can’t remember a time when she wasn’t thinking about playing one!! She currently plays the violin and wants to learn piano and cello as well. (we’ll see about that!) She was first inspired by me (I play the violin) but she is also very inspired by the Leahy Family - Next Generation - an amazing musical family that we saw live at the Distillery District in Toronto last year. All the Leahy kids step dance and play violin as well as a few other instruments like accordion and cello.
Does your little one love singing and dancing too? Why not try out a free trial class at Lovenotes School of Music. In our parent/child music classes our expertise lies in building solid musical foundations for 0-5 year olds in a fun and nurturing environment. We also run summer music camps for 4-6 year olds.