when bill and i were in school, before we had kids, i worked at a daycare to earn a little extra money so we could actually eat real food. since we played music all day long, i really got to know the ins and outs of kid's music. and i definitely had my favorites.
one of my personal favorites was jim gill. he even came and performed a concert for our daycare which further solidified my appreciation.
now that i'm a parent i try to keep a lot of jim gill cds handy for those moments when only some really good music can prevent my entire crew from melting down. i'm not sure how many times i have popped in a jim gilll cd for us to sing at the top of our lungs for the last half hour of a trip to visit our parents. there is something about the way he encourages kids and parents alike to cut loose and enjoy the sound of music and move one's body accordingly appeals to our whole family.
in fact, i have since learned that "jim is on a mission to get kids and parents to enjoy music and active play
together. it’s so important for a child’s development – and it’s a parent sanity
booster as well." jim gill is a child development specialist, in addition to being a great musician, and you can see (and hear) the evidence of both in his cds.
we've had a copy of his new release, music play for folks of all stripes, in our van for the last two weeks, and the songs are a hit with lilianna (19 months) who loves to clap along, all the way up to zoe (9 year) who is intrigued by the different instruments she hears as well as the renditions of some of the more classical pieces. time and again, i hear a little voice from the back (tate or tessa) asking me to "turn it up" so they can sing along even more loudly.
music play for folks of all stripes comes with a dvd of jim gill playing his songs for a group of kids with their moms and dads. tate was interested in a short time in watching the kids move to the music with their parents, but lilianna was absolutely entranced. i have yet to find an affordable "music in motion" or kindermusik class for us to participate in, but i think this dvd can fill the gap for us in the meantime. each song encourages simple actions or movements that are just perfect for lilianna and i to do together.
i highly recommend this cd, as well as any of jim gill's other cds. they provide a great music and preschool education as well as promoting movement and encouraging silliness.
if you are in the area, jim gill will also be performing a wide variety of free concerts to celebrate the release of this album. each concert is kid-friendly because he insists that everyone clap-along and/or sing-along while actively participating with the music. you can check out the various tour dates (including a performance at our favorite bookamania at the harold washington library on november 19) here.
if i still haven't convinced you to make jim gill a part of your family's musical library, check out this video and tell me i'm wrong, i dare you! (while i was looking for this video, i also saw this one--can you believe the whole song is played entirely with bottles?! i thought for sure that they used a synthesizer for most of it!)
if this video has wet your appetite, then i'm pleased to let you know that i have a copy of the cd and dvd to give away to one of you readers. just leave a comment below telling me your favorite song to sing with your favorite child (e.g. grandchild, nephew, niece, son, daughter, etc.). i will choose a winner using random.org on wednesday, october 26, 2011 (us residents only please).
i received a free copy of the cd and dvd, as well as information, from sugar mountain pr for the purpose of this review. regardless, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are purely my own.