I was driving in my car today, and as usual, I was listening to my Ipod on shuffle. I am not one for commercials on radio, nor hearing the same song played over and over. And while I deal with the temporary absence of my daughters, I look for ways to keep us interacting with each other, as well as the having the ability to trigger memories that of course lead to conversation.
With my daughters older now, I do not have many reasons to listen to children’s radio anymore, such as Disney Radio. But I still have the songs on my Ipod from those years ago when I did listen to them.
The song “Kiss The Girl” from “The Little Mermaid” sung by Disney actor Ashley Tisdale came on. This was just one of my oldest’s favorites to blast out with her young lungs, especially the “la la la la la” parts of the song.
But this was not the first time that Madison had shown her ability to just pick up a song after hearing it played just once.
At the age of just 18 months, she picked up the chorus of “Since U Been Gone” from Kelly Clarkson. Okay, so the words were not easy to make out, but when the chorus hit, the sounds came out right on the words, and the pitch was perfect.
Of course, a couple of years later, this ability for Madison to imitate the songs, drew the attention of daycare with her next favorite artist.
Avril Lavigne had a huge hit with the song “Girlfriend”. It was a very catch tune. Played constantly. Very sassy. But what you heard on the radio and saw on the video was not what you downloaded from ITunes. In the unedited version, Lavigne drops an “MF” bomb surely never to see the airwaves, but on young influential minds listening to Ipods…
So anyway, I get a phone call from the daycare saying, “Mr. Edelman, we have to talk to you about Madison. She is singing a song that is inappropriate for her age.” Now of course, I am still on either Clarkson or Tisdale, though I knew Madison had a new song she was beginning, and it was Lavigne’s song. So the instructor told me that it was “Girlfriend” and all I could do from chuckling, I asked, “was it edited or unedited?” Fortunately, Madison was only hearing and singing the edited version of the song.
The very first time I realized that Madison had an interest in music, I just happened to be looking in my rear view mirror. She was about 13 months at the time. Of course, I listen to any genre of music for the most part, but my favorite category is rock.
In the back seat, Madison’s head was “banging” to ACDC’s “Back In Black.” While Madison may be adopted, she was definitely my daughter. Never missing the beat, especially with the intro, I knew good things would be coming from her, if we kept giving her musical opportunities.
To be honest, both of my daughters have interest in music. Madison still likes to sing. She dabbled a little bit with piano. Emmalie enjoys singing, flute, and violin. She too studied piano for a short while.
I really wish that our school systems would recognize the value that music and the arts provide in challenging our students, while at the same time, teaching our children, and helping our children. It has to be more than just parental direction because let’s face it, our children spend most of their day in school, with the teachers. And teachers are the ones who know how to use this tool to help make our children not only smarter, but also, well rounded.
Of course, all these years later, Madison has moved on through all the phases of popular singers that kids listen to, and her current favorite is Anna Kendrick with the song “Cups.”
This love of music that both of my daughters have is not just a hobby for them. It is a lifestyle. It is not only teaching them, but they know that music helps to heal the people who hurt. As my oldest daughter sang for my father for the first time, just before he passed.
I miss hearing my daughters sing. But hearing the song played on my Ipod, which I will not delete ever, helped to bring back such a happy memory I have always kept in my heart.