Photo by ktylerconk
As the cooling weather brings many of us indoors, it is a wonderful time to expand the family’s music library. Jennifer returns this monthly with her monthly “What We’re Listening To” feature to share some ideas on adding cultural diversity to your music collection:
This month we’re celebrating birthday number three in our home, and in celebration of that I wanted to share with you a very special collection of music that I put together two years ago for my son’s first birthday. Before I introduce the songs, I wanted to explain a little bit about how I came up with this idea and why.
As a way to get ourselves out of the house and do something fun that we both could enjoy, I began taking my son to a fabulous music class just a couple of months before his first birthday. We got to sing, dance and play instruments. It was an activity that we both really looked forward to and helped define our love of music as a family. It also became a bit of a “defining” activity for my son – meaning we found he really loved music and we wanted to encourage that.
Our family lived in Europe at the time we attended this music class, and the list of songs I have created below represents both our time living there as well as the other countries we have been fortunate enough to visit. Some of the songs representing the countries below are a loose interpretation of that country, but I thought it might be a good place to start. Though this is by no means a comprehensive list, it might be a great jumping off point for your own family’s explorations into world music:
- “Battu,” Angelique Kidjo – West Africa
- “Orea Pou Ine I Nifi Mas,” The Greek Wedding Band – Greece
- “Volare,” Gipsy Kings – Spain
- “Titanic Set,” Gaelic Storm – Ireland
- “Trekking,” David Hudson & Friends – Australia
- “Take Five,” Dave Brubeck – USA
- “Chaiyya Chaiyya,” Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi – India
- “Jonnie Billy Goat,” Boozoo Chavis – USA (zydeco)
- “Kmen Lai Kwai,” Ensemble Mahori Khruang Sai Thai – Thailand
- “C’est si bon,” Eartha Kitt – France
- “Aki No Koto No Hq,” Satomi Saeki & Alcvin Takegawa Ramos – Japan
- “Raks Abdo,” George Abdo – Middle East
- “Jungle,” Jamaican Steel Band – Jamaica
- “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – USA (Hawaii)
Should you be interested in reading a little bit more about teaching your children about the world through multicultural music and the benefits of exposing your children to music in general, check out the following:
- The impact of musical activities on pre-school children
- Multicultural Music in Early Childhood
- Giving Your Child a Global View
Does your family enjoy world music? What songs and which artists would you add to this list?