In April, The New York Times published that “the average American spends four hours a day staring at their smartphone and keeps it within arm’s reach nearly all the time, according to a tracking app called Moment“. There are hands-free mama movements but really, what if we truly harness the power of the devices we carry around?
I’ve taken my kids to three music classes since they were born (stick with me, I’ll get back to the phones). The classes were awesome. I loved the group singing and the leaders’ dynamics with the kids. They classes were the sample classes from different companies that you can take before you commit to the month- or season-long class.
I never signed up for a class. Not because I don’t really believe that music is one of the best things you can offer your kid. I didn’t sign up because a) it’s expensive (even with discounts for multiple children!) and b) I wasn’t sure I could actually get there. My boys are 20 months apart and inevitably the early childhood classes would be mid-morning – right in the middle of nap time for the baby. Plus, someone is always sick and we like to travel, so what if we miss a week or two? I just couldn’t stomach paying so much and then stressing out about arriving on time every week.
So I added ‘music time’ to our daily routine. Before afternoon naps we would get out our tiny cymbals and rhythm sticks and Wee Sing songbooks from my childhood and we would all pick songs to sing together. When my daughter was born, I started singing her requests as part of her nap and bedtime routine too.
I toyed with the idea of hosting my own very relaxed music hour in my house, but there were so many what ifs and questions that I never pulled the trigger. What if one of my kids gets sick and I have to cancel classes? What if we want to travel or attend an event? I didn’t want to be undependable. Would I have to get a business license or insurance? What if no one signed up, or what if people signed up but never came? I’d hosted enough MOMS clubs events to know that SAHPs have a hard time committing. Look at me! I couldn’t commit to a class myself!
Then, Valerie and I were drove to Alabama together this spring without our usual collection of CDs. I searched for sing along podcasts and nothing came up. I started our kid-song Pandora station but quickly turned it off. I can’t stand listening to most kids songs – they are too complicated and over produced for my taste. And it hit me – what if I made a podcast?
- I can make short episodes for short attention spans.
- Adults can play a string of episodes or download a few favorites to have ready for errand day or longer road trips.
- It’s free and available any time. People won’t have to pay for a second sibling or commit to weekly classes – they can just listen whenever and wherever they want.
Once the idea hit me, I couldn’t let it go. Everyone has their phone with them – especially when driving. Podcast apps (at least Apple Podcasts) can play while the user is looking at other apps like Maps for directions. Most phones can connect to car stereo systems… yes, this might actually be a good idea!
Reason #5 why I podcast: it’s easy and free for parents to add music time to car rides or incorporate in their routines at home!