Review: Very Helpful Songs - FamilyEducation

Review: Very Helpful Songs

March 03,2008
Skaddadle
Todd Lieman

Apparently, I’ve managed to generate a bit of notoriety for myself. In the last couple of months, I’ve started getting (more or less) daily emails from people (and marketers) wanting me to try their stuff. The products run the gamut from CDs to a new photo-sharing site that…Well, I don’t really care what it does. That particular email was riddled with spelling errors (even spelling the name of the company wrong, I believe). Not that I’m anyone’s English teacher, but I have sent out my share of pitch letters, and as a general rule of thumb, I usually find it important to spell the name of the damn company correctly. I’m also a stickler for showing some (ANY!) indication that the “pitcher” has read my blog. It’s not that hard to invest a few minutes to read a post or two in order to determine whether or not the content of the blog fits with the messaging and brand of the product being pitched. Not to harp on the poor bastard with the ecard/photo-sharing site, but I think it’s reasonably clear that I don’t write a whole lot of “touchy-feely.” Yes, it’s in here, but it’s not the primary driver of my content or tone. Because of stuff like this, I don’t think I’ve ever endorsed a product on any of my blogs. And, because of this, I was especially skeptical when I received the requisite email out of the blue asking if I’d listen to David Tobocman’s “I Count to Ten and other Helpful Songs” CD. I’m not the biggest fan of kids songs and music. I’d much rather K-Man learned the lyrics to songs by U2, The Police, English Beat or AC/DC than most of the kid stuff. G and I make sure that music is always playing in the house, but it’s the stuff on her iPod, not Sesame Street. Additionally, because K-Man is only two-and-a-half, I didn’t think he really needed a CD that was produced to (according to the liner notes), “…help my own kids with their problems.” But, I respect a dude who is chasing the dream. And, since I kind of work in the “dad industry,” I figured I’d give it shot. Worst comes to worst, I wouldn’t like the music, right? So, I picked up K from school, popped in the CD, “K-Man, want to listen to some music,” I asked. “Music!” was the enthusiastic response. K-Man loves this CD. From the very first song, “I Count to Ten,” K-Man quite literally rocked out in his car seat. It truly didn’t matter that he had no idea what the words meant. It truly didn’t matter that, though he can count to 10, he would never think to do so in order to manage a meltdown. His favorite song, however, is “My Rainbow.” Why? Simply because the song mentions red fire trucks. K-Man would trade his parents for 10 minutes in a fire station. So, mention a fire truck in a song (and add an infections beat) and the kid is hooked. Sure, you might think, “Oh, big deal – your kid likes kid music.” Fair enough. The ultimate test? G actually leaned over and turned up the volume on “Favorite Son.” Yep, she liked the tune that much. And, my wife isn’t some kind of music pushover. She’s more of a music savant. This is a woman who actually moved to Seattle to be part of music history. The fact that she wanted to “turn it up,” well, it speaks volumes (pun intended). David Tobocman is clearly a talented musician who can write a variety of styles of music. My kid might not be old enough to understand the lessons David’s songs teach, but he will someday. And, at that point, I hope that in between rockin’ sessions of U2, The Who, The Stones, Coldplay and Radiohead, we’ll be listening to David Tobocman’s fifth or sixth CD. Check out URL: http://www.veryhelpfulsongs.com

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