Rhythm Child: “Kindie Reggae” and Teaching Kids through Music

Harold and I always love discovering new kids’ music that promotes learning and healthy development, delivers a positive message … but is also easy on parents’ ears! (Because when your kids love it, you know you’re going to be hearing it on repeat for a while.)   That’s why we were especially excited when we came across Rhythm Child’s new release Kindie Reggae, an album featuring nine songs for young kids that explore important ideas related to health and wellness, cooperation, friendship, family, language games, the importance of having good manners and habits and unconditional love. Each very danceable song tells a unique story that is educational and often inspirational. And there’s even a cover of The Beatles’ “All You Need is Love” in the mix, as well as some re-imaginings of famous nursery rhymes from Mother Goose!

 

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The force behind the Rhythm Child brand is hard-working L.A.-based singer, songwriter, percussionist and music educator Norman Jones. His goal with his brand has always been to create an innovative platform that gives children and their parents meaningful music with an interactive component to support critical health and developmental skills. Rhythm Child received a National Parenting Publication Gold Award, and the company’s Instructional Drumming CD was spotlighted by the Academics’ Choice Awards, an organization known for its commitment to quality mind-building media. And Norman was recently acknowledged for his commitment to making good music for families when he performed at the White House.

 

Norman also has a pretty cool history as a musician, as he was one of the pioneering musicians during the ska revival of the 1980s, known for his work with the band General Public. The ska revival celebrated multiculturalism, socially-conscious lyrics and new “grooves,” and you can definitely hear these qualities in Kindie Reggae. We really like this quote from a reviewer, who described the music as “John Lennon, Bob Marley and Otis Redding playing a music festival on Sesame Street.”

 

Norman believes in relating to children as the smart, talented individuals they are, which we also admire:  “I play the same type of music I’ve played for 30 years. Music based on rhythmic improvisation, a high level of musicianship, raw energy, and deep lyrics … I want to give kids a sense that the music is not talking down to them, and that it’s filled with flavor and realness.”

 

Another special thing about Rhythm Child is that it is a family affair – something we can obviously relate to! Norman’s children Bailey and Andre play in the band, and his wife, Heather manages them. The idea for the band started after the couple had their first child. He was doing outdoor gigs and started to add nursery rhymes to the shows as interludes between sets and would bring instruments so kids could get involved in making music. Since then, Norman has become known as an authority on engaging children through music and teaches classes about using rhythm-based activities in the classroom to enhance the learning experience.

 

You can check out Rhythm Child and hear some selections from Kindie Reggae on the Rhythm Child website.

 

And in honor of education and teaching our kids through music, please enjoy our song “Teacher Teacher”! – xo Amelia