For my last music post this month I thought I would share some ways you can discover new music for your children…. for free!
Pandora has been around for a long time. I thought concept of internet radio based on my preferences was pretty revolutionary when it first landed on my desktop circa 2006. Fast forward to today where the Pandora app is a staple on my smartphone. Finding new kids music isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Luckily, Pandora has a great selection under the genre of Family music to get you started- more versatility than I have found anywhere else. The only downside to Pandora for me is the advertisements.
SPOTIFY is free for mobile devices (smartphones and tablets)! Announced just last December, this news is a game changer for me. I’d used it for a while on my laptop, but for spontaneous dance parties or tantrum soothers my kids my mobile device is just more convenient. Previously, you had to have a paid subscription to use it on a mobile device. I just didn’t have the extra cash to spend. But let me slow down. If you’re not familiar with Spotify, it is “a digital music service that gives you access to millions of songs.” Basically, you can listen to the songs through the Spotify service. You do not own the songs like you would if you purchased them through iTunes or Play, but this is a great way to test out new music on your kids (and you!).
You can search by artist, genre, album or song title. Soundtracks and kid shows also make great searches. You can create playlists of the songs you like, share playlists with friends, and search playlists others have shared. I created playlists of songs from Bob the Builder, The Polar Express, and of course, The Might Be Giants. Plus I have a few playlists for me when the kids aren’t around (Momma’s Day Off!). You can also hear Miss Ella’s Playhouse and Snacktime!
Like Pandora, there are ads with the free subscription.
Last summer I finally took the time to figure out how to make a Youtube playlist and it’s super simple. I searched some old Sesame Street clips, nursery rhymes, and Disney favorites to make a list that I can play through my smartphone or show on my computer. I also subscribed to a couple kid-friendly sites that already had playlists. Recently we’ve been watching the Frozen soundtrack.
This is an internet radio channel powered by IHeartRadio. I definitely think it suits tween and up audience. It’s a nice change of pace. Plus it doesn’t require me to put any time into creating playlists. It’s just pop music that you and your kids can enjoy.
Radio Disney is very similar to Nick Radio. It plays tween and up pop through an internet radio station. Unlike Nick Radio, Radio Disney does have an app you can download. However, I was not able to get it to work properly on my phone. I tried uninstalling it and re-installing it and still had no luck. The app appeared to have some cool features for older kids like requesting songs or writing a “shout out” to scroll across the screen. I plan to check back in a couple months and see if the glitches have been fixed. I’ll keep you posted!
BONUS: PBS Kids has a terrific page of music games and activities. Your child can experience different genres such as salsa, jazz, hip hop, blues and classical. Compose your own music Curious George or check out some new dance moves with Grover!
I hope you’ve enjoyed our Tuesday Tunes. Please post a recommendation in the comments section below of what you like to listen to with your children. I’m always looking to expand our musical horizons!