It's fitting that it has taken me 'til the middle of January to make this New Year's wish, but here's to a 2010 filled with great music! With that said, I am excited to announce the return of a unique feature of Singing in the Bathtub that has been missing since the Arts Academy of Hollywood closed it's doors last year:
Classroom Album Reviews!
With the start of the Live! Kids program, I now have a new group of budding reviewers anxious to lend their views to the Bathtub's readers.To kick things off we'll be reviewing Bari Koral Family Rock Band and their latest release, Rock and Roll Garden.
We passed the CD around so the students could get a good look at the pictures. They were attracted to the bright and cheery images immediately. "That's cute!" one four year old exclaimed as she pointed to the ducks and trees, "I likeded the duckie part," her four year old classmate added. Many people commented about Bari Koral's picture "I like the girl! Why she has flowers?" one of the students asked. We discussed that the "rock and roll garden" title might have something to do with it. One young man had a different observation, "I liked the Grandma!" I guess you can never be sure how they'll respond to the pictures (or how young Grandma's in South Florida can look!). "I like the girl, and inside, and outside, and the CD and the back," two of the girls said to make sure they'd cover all the bases.
The kids were up and moving soon after we started the CD. "That seems good!' a four year old dancer exclaimed as she bopped back and forth. "Nice," her five year old classmate added as he played the air guitar. "I liked the rock and roll part," another six year old commented. There was a great deal of dancing and moving around, but the lyrics caught their ear too (which is always a challenge!).
After listening to Rock and Roll Garden only once, the students had already picked their favorite parts. "I like the "hey, hey" part," "I like the firetruck," "I like dinosaurs and firetrucks," there were lots of different ideas. "She said something cute," one four year old girl said in a sing-song tone. "It's musicy and funny," her five year old classmate replied. All in all, it got high marks on the teacher scale because it kept the kids' attention.
I always love asking the students what each particular CD reminds them of. The answers usually range from the silly to the outlandish, to the surprisingly astute. Our newest and youngest student remarked that "It sounded like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." "It sounded like sweet songs," her sister added. As for the left-field commentary, the one boy in the group said, "It remindes me of Ten Little, We Will Rock You, Legos, Dinosaurs." Which I took to mean it had the sing-along appeal of Ten Little Indians, the rockin' edge of Queen, the fun of Legos and the dinosaur theme. In terms of astute our senior, 6 year old member said, "There was a s song by a lady. She sings for kids." She couldn't quite recall whom sadly.
The Mike Brady Wrap-up:
(as a quick side note... I am so happy that the Mike Brady Wrap-up makes sense again!)
I enjoyed sharing Bari Koral Family Rock Band with my class this week. It's a good listen, and a well produced album. It has a "poppy" appeal and some beautiful singing that make it a sure bet for most people and families. The beat kept the kids moving, and the words kept them tuned in and occasionally laughing.
My review panel was between the age of 3+ to 6 and was mostly girls (just me and my one male student that day). He balked a little at the pictures but was the first to get up and bop around once the music started. The girls sort loved every bit. I felt the age range was ideal (though I could see toddlers enjoying B.K.F.R.B.), 'tweens who grew up listening to her might keep these tunes on their iPod, but they may not tell their friends. I would give Rock and Roll Garden a bit thumbs up, so give it a listen and see for yourself.
Kid Quote of the Day: "Um, Mr. Nick, do you know? Do you know who made God?" ~Joseph (age 4) "You know, that is a great question! Why don't you ask Judy [the youth minister]" I replied!