Even before Toddler Harbat was born we began to get music for children. Some had familiar nursery rhymes yelled out over a background of synthesized strings. One was original compositions by a woman with an average voice, a guitar, and ten gallons of high-test perkiness! With most of this music I couldn’t stand to listen to it so we didn’t play it much. But as Baby Harbat became Toddler Harbat, I began to play music that I liked to see how she’d react. As I ran through jazz, choral, classical, and world music, I learned she has incredibly sophisticated tastes, and appreciates beautiful music as much as I do. Here’s the kicker: kids don’t like music that panders to them any more than we do as adults. Great music is great music, period. This isn’t to say she loves everything I love, but her ear can tell the difference between an open-mic hack and an operatic phenom.
Recently I played “Into the West” from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack. As soon as it finished she requested to hear it again. Then again. On one drive we ran through it five times and she listened with focused attention as Annie Lennox belted it out. Then she told me, “I like that beautiful singing, Babbo.”