Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Don't Think Einstein Was That Great of a Musician

I have never really been a fan of the name "Baby Einstein." Shouldn't it be something more like "Baby Beethoven?" I guess the Einstein reference is a veiled suggestion that it will make your baby smart. Recent research showing the negative effects of TV on infants also sort of negates the "Baby" part as well. What I do like about Baby Einstein is that it exposes young children (of appropriate age) to classical music. I've had many surprising moments in lessons where a child will pull out a bit of musical knowledge cited from Baby Einstein.

Classical music is fading from our culture. It is challenging, and often expensive to stage, but sadly misunderstood by many and not valued as it should be. That is why I am happy to review a new CD from the guitar and flute duo Keith Torgan and Barbara Siesel.

Green Golly & Her Golden Flute
performing as "Flute Sweet and Tickletoon" Green Golly and Her Golden Flute is part fairy tale part classical concert. The first half is the beautifully told/performed tale of Green Golly and her golden flute. The tale is loosely based on Rapunzel, and both Torgan and Siesel have a delightful and dramatic delivery. The various classical melodies that are woven through the story are sweet compliment to the dialog.

As for the second half, the CD also contains ten tracks of wonderfully performed classical selections adding Jessica Krash on the piano. It's a varied and engaging selection of pieces. Siesel's flute playing is sweet, but this is not a CD of lullabies. Tunes like "Flight of the Bumblebee," and "Habanera" add a bit of excitement and showcase some fleet fingering from both Krash and Siesel.

The Mike Brady Wrap-up: Studies may show that infants watching DVD's like "Baby Einstein" has a negative effect on brain development, but it is never too early to expose your children to the joys of classical music. It might be going overboard to put earphones up to a pregnant belly, but playing a lovely album like "Green Golly and Her Golden Flute" for your little ones is a great idea. The selections range from the well known to the more obscure, but they are all enjoyable. Even if you are not knowledgeable about classical music, this CD is an easy choice.

Kid Quote of the Day: "Why do I have to learn cursive when I'll never use it after 5th grade?" ~Luka (age: 8) to be honest I had no good response!

1 comment:

Anne Deysher said...

I would advocate for playing classical music during the day for a baby (I believe that in-utero the normal day-to-day sounds are what a developing fetus needs to hear)at least at times. I think what's detrimental about Baby Einstein is that parents believe that playing them is what will make their babies smarter when really it is interaction with Mom and Dad in addition to other stimuli. That being said, this sounds like a refreshingly different and creative CD.
My kid quote: "I'm gonna see Toy Story Three - and, and, and then I'm gonna go to college" (Daniel, age 4)