The Monday Musical series is a weekly feature on the blog each Monday. It details the musical we listened to the previous week, along with any additional resources we used or go-along activities we completed.
Rationale and Goals:
I decided to start listening to musicals with Luke (age 4) and Lilah (age 2) because they LOVE music and they LOVE stories, so musicals combine the best of both worlds. I think it’s never too early to start developing “well-roundedness” and a little culture. Plus, I think in addition to giving them an appreciation for music, it will also help increase their listening attention spans and comprehension. Not to mention, I personally haven’t listened to very many musicals myself, so it’ll be educational for me as well.
My goal is to listen to a new musical with the kids each week. We probably won’t listen to the full musical every day during the week, but the plan is to hear it at least a few times so that it starts to become familiar. While we will sometimes do other activities along with the musical, our main goal will really be just to listen. I am honestly really looking forward to our musical adventures to come!
For week #3, we listened to Annie: Original Broadway Cast Recording.
This is a musical I thought L&L would really like, but I was wrong…at least in the beginning! They did not take to this music like they did to Cats and The Magic Tree House. They did listen to it, but they didn’t ask for it to be repeated even once all week and they would even ask for one of the other musicals in place of it when I would start to play it for them.
Introducing the Musical:
Again this week, I didn’t do much of an introduction to the music other than to tell L&L what I was about to play for them and that it was about a little orphan girl named Annie. They wanted to know if it was the same Annie as in The Magic Tree House, so I was pleased they made a connection between the names, but I think that sort of set them up for disappointment when they found out it wasn’t.
The Rest of the Week:
We listened to the musical about 3 times during the week. The 2nd time we listened was met with strong resistance, so I tried to really play up the kid-friendliest songs like “It’s the Hard Knock Life” and “Tomorrow.” The third time I played it, L&L were more open to listening to it and actually asked if they could go get our music basket out so they could “play” along. Please excuse the mismatched PJs and bedhead!
I was glad they started to warm up to it as the week went on!
L&L’s favorite song of the lot is probably, “It’s the Hard Knock Life.” We really haven’t listened to it enough for them to start singing any of the songs on their own like with the other musicals we’ve listened to.
- I plan to continue to play this musical for L&L on occasion as I think the more they hear it, the more familiar it will become, and thus they’ll begin to like it more. Out of the 3 musicals we’ve done, this one does definitely have more “adult” songs on it — some of which are quite heavy with US history. I remember my high school US history teacher teaching us about the Great Depression and referring to the line from the song “We’d Like to Thank You, Herbert Hoover” in the Annie musical that says, “not only don’t we have the chicken, we don’t even have the pot!”
- There is a movie version of Annie (or several actually) that I might preview in hopes of them being appropriate to show to L&L. Perhaps knowing more of the story behind the music would make it more appealing to them. If anyone has any input on the movie versions or on making Annie more interesting to young children, I’d love to hear it!
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