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We are three weeks into a new series out by NBC called Songland. I started watching it on a whim, but I’ve decided to start watching it with my kids because I’m interested in shows that we can enjoy together and talk about later. It is so interesting to watch the veil lifted on the music industry. I don’t think my kids even realized that musicians don’t write all their songs themselves.
Music is a big deal for me and my girls. Every time we are in the car, they’re debating (okay, sometimes arguing) about what song to put on next. Usually whoever sits shotgun gets control because they’re closest to all the buttons while I drive. And I’m definitely singing along just as loud as them.
My dad once told me that when my brothers and I were teenagers, he figured out a way to lead us away from the weird music he didn’t like that was coming out at the time. He would bring home CDs and CD sets (I can still picture the Beetles anthology case laying on our kitchen table). He’d claim they were “for himself” but then he’d leave them out. My brothers and I, curious, would try out and end up stealing his CDs away into our rooms. I actually felt bad about this years later which is when my dad revealed that it was all part of his plan. He planted those CDs in our path to help us develop our taste in music. He knew teenagers didn’t always like what was pushed on them, but we felt like we discovered this music ourselves. Simon & Garfunkel is still my favorite musical duo of all time because of these planted CDs. The trick definitely worked. (I should have realized it, my dad is a very neat and tidy guy, he never just left stuff out. But, I’m actually glad I was tricked and my music was expanded by more decades of options.)
I do the same thing now with my teens, but in a more technologically current way. I buy music on our family iTunes account “for myself” and it automatically shows up on everyone’s Music on their devices. Pretty soon after I’ve bought a song, I’ll hear my kids singing along to it. My dad’s plan continues on to another generation and it is still working. (Shhh … don’t tell my kids.)
Sometimes my kids will ask me to listen to a certain song they’ve heard, and if I like it, I will buy it. Good music is like children’s and young adult books to me … worth the investment. People go to the theatre and spend more than $10 for a movie they’ll see once. I’ll pay that for books my kids will read usually more than once and songs cost way less than that. Spending about $1 for a song streamed on all our devices, that will be listened to 100+, maybe 1000+, times over the coming years. Yeah, I think that’s worth it.
Are you watching Songland?
And maybe this love of music is what is making me so excited about Songland. The premise is famous musicians and musical groups come onto the show and 4 songwriters pitch songs to them. By the end of the show, the songs have taken on new forms as the songwriters, producers, and musicians tweak them together. At least one of the songs will be selected for that musicians next album. It is a fun, positive television show. We’re into it.
If you haven’t tried it yet, give it a go! It may surprise you!