appropriate, cool music for a 7 year old?
November 18, 2011 10:17 AM   Subscribe

what are all the cool 7 year olds listening to these days?

so i found my old 4GB 1st gen iPod nano, and it looks like it's eligible for the apple replacement program. since my mom has an iPhone now, my boyfriend, older nephew and i all have multiple iPods/iPhones, and my brother wouldn't know what to do with it if it walked up and smacked him, i'm going to give it to my younger nephew, who is 7, and a pretty good kid. i have no idea if he listens to music at all on his own.

i am going to get him some stuff from the TMBG kids albums, and probably put some beatles, stevie wonder, motown, yoyo ma, the jenny jenkins lisa loeb song and other stuff on there. but i am wondering what else is popular with kids these days. i am not really close to his mom (my sister-in-law), and it takes her forever to respond to things anyway, so i thought i'd ask here.

help me, mefites! kidmusic me. as usual, no swearing or too much imagery, because i do not need the agita from either mom. also, he listens to enough of that with his dad.

(i found a previous thread from 2009, but it was more related to shared dad and toddler music, and i'll be using some suggestions from that too.)
posted by koroshiya to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
My 7-year-old loves Bob Marley
posted by pantarei70 at 10:24 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

All the Disney kid show stars have music - Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus and bunch - pretty reliable kid friendly and he will probably recognize them all.
posted by JXBeach at 10:26 AM on November 18, 2011

Speaking of Disney, I loved (and still do) the soundtracks to their animated motion pictures when I was little.

Then they have Disney's Greatest, which is a mix of songs from various movies:
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3

There's also the whole warner bro's catalog of kids movies you could grab from as well.
posted by royalsong at 10:30 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

My 8-year-old really doesn't want to be caught dead listening to "kids' music" or anything the girls are into, meaning the Jonas Brothers, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Miley Cyrus, et all.

He does love: Nick Drake, Bread, the Beatles, Nat King Cole, ABC, Michael Jackson, Queen, etc.

I say stick with the oldies.
posted by BlahLaLa at 10:33 AM on November 18, 2011 [4 favorites]

Right now, there is a boom in quality, kid-oriented music. We listen to Kid's Place Live sattelite radio station, but there's an independent blog on the topic as well as an page.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2011

My sisters and I loved Simon and Garfunkel at that age. My mother actually had to put a moratorium on listening to Cecelia in the car, because my youngest sister was driving us all batty insisting that we play it over and over again.
posted by decathecting at 10:39 AM on November 18, 2011

Oh yeah, Simon and Garfunkel. When I was eight my mom had a cassette of the Best Of, and I loved it. Unfortunately, the secretary at my elementary school was named Mrs. Robinson, and I thought it would be an appropriate tribute to sing the song to her one day at lunch.
posted by Beardman at 10:46 AM on November 18, 2011 [7 favorites]

The Current (an absolutely amazing radio station in Minnesota) offers a kid-friendly version of their main station: Wonderground. Their description is: "Wonderground Radio offers the best music for kids and adults to enjoy together: Sesame Street to the Rolling Stones, Bunny Clogs to the Beach Boys, Laurie Berkner to Belle and Sebastian."

Their online playlist should give you a lot of ideas, and their online stream is awesome to boot. Your nephew is a lucky kid!
posted by warble at 11:07 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Kid's Place Live suggestion. Our kids in that age bracket adore They Might Be Giants. We also got seriously turned on to The Green Chili Jam Band thanks to Boom Box Classroom.
posted by jquinby at 11:27 AM on November 18, 2011

Talking Heads

and I once gave a brother and sister around that age a CD with this song on it, and the parents hated me, but the kids loved it to pieces.
posted by seriousmoonlight at 11:33 AM on November 18, 2011

Duplex! 're like a THinking Fellers Union 282 for kids. Pluys, is there a child alive who wouldn't love a song called Pooing and Peeing?

I got my 8 year old an iPod for Christmas last year. She mostly listens to the soundtrack to West Side Story. This is probably not broadly applicable to other children.

Others I hear over and over from her bedroom:
Harry Belafonte
ABBA, oh god ABBA
Queen (Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You, particularly)
The Who (Boris the Spider, specifically)
School House Rocks

She used to love the Barenaked Ladies' kids album but seems to have outgrown it.
posted by looli at 11:39 AM on November 18, 2011

Flight of the Conchords (specifically the Robot song, and Pretty Bird from the soundtrack to Rio), Flaming Lips, Beastie Boys, Cat Stevens, For the Kids, and soundtracks to movies he likes. Don't forget the option of audiobooks. Right now my grade-schooler likes the Lemony Snicket series, Roald Dahl books, Charlotte's Web, the Chronicles of Narnia, Stuart Little, and Peter Pan (dramatized).
posted by cocoagirl at 11:42 AM on November 18, 2011

Oh and she also loves audiobooks and kids podcasts like these:

Alice in Wonderland by Storynory
Award Winning Childrens Songs and Children's Poems in Music
Children's stories & Tales From the Forest
Portable Radio
Sam Woolfman - Audio Thriller
Silly Popsicle
Storynory - Stories For Kids
The Radio Adventures of Dr. Floyd Official Podcast
The Story Home™ Children's Audio Stories
Twister - Tongue Twisters
Wind in the Willows
posted by looli at 12:01 PM on November 18, 2011

Possible recommendation, or possibly just a point of reference: I remember being around that age, dancing on my parents bed with my younger brother, listening to Sting (Englishman in New York comes to mind).

I'd say just put a lot of fun music on there, and see what the young'n likes, then add more like that.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:02 PM on November 18, 2011

Daft Punk.
posted by milk white peacock at 12:04 PM on November 18, 2011 [2 favorites]

Well, my seven year old loves as much Katy Perry as I can bear for her to listen to. Which is one song, "Firework". She likes "early" Avril Lavigne - "Sk8tr Boi" (or however you spell it). Her other favourite songs are easy to sing along to, if I had to find a common denominator. She loves Joan Jett's "I Love Rock and Roll"; the Sonics "Have Love Will Travel"; the Go Gos "We Got the Beat"; the Searchers version "Love Potion No.9"; Both Dolly Parton's and the White Stripes verson of "Jolene"; Nick Lowe's "Cruel to be Kind". Last night she asked for me to repeat Blondie's "One Way or Another" a few times after it came on, and by the third time of hearing "Sometimes, Always" she was singing along. And yes, The Who's "Boris the Spider" and ABBA and the soundtrack to the Sound of Music. So, I'd say, well-rounded classic stuff is great - Elvis, the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, plus dance songs and alternative classics (though she hasn't identified what her favourite Replacements song is yet, we're not holding that against her). And out of the kind of thing I have on all the time while I'm cleaning the house or working, she likes this Sharon Jones song and she likes dance remixes of Adele's Someone Like You, and also Robyn's "Call Your Girlfriend". Today she decided she liked Echo and the Bunnymen's "Bring on the Dancing Horses". I guess you never know what they'll like until they hear it.
posted by peagood at 12:05 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

Weird Al!

I played some Eddie From Ohio for my son and he was singing it like crazy the next day. Check out Looking Out The Fishbowl.

posted by bondcliff at 12:05 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you want an instrumental, my eight-year-old would happily listen to Wizards in Winter all day long. I've had to cut it off after four or five repeats.
posted by Flannery Culp at 12:09 PM on November 18, 2011

Putumayo has a bunch of really good kid-friendly CDs that I (a 22-year-old) enjoy listening to. My sister and I, at various stages in our childhoods (we're five years apart) liked ABBA, Queen, Blondie, assorted musicals, Sting, Southern Culture on the Skids, Lyle Lovett, the Beatles, Simon and Garfunkel, B-52s, Jackson 5, Kraftwerk, Falco, anything annoying and disco-y...
posted by naturalog at 12:56 PM on November 18, 2011

Response by poster: > I'd say just put a lot of fun music on there, and see what the young'n likes, then add more like that.

the problem with this suggestion (sadly) is that the kid lives 3000 miles away from me (we're on opposite coasts). so i'm going to try to load this up as best i can, and i can change it when he comes to visit his dad (it's a long story).

thanks, everyone! these suggestions are great so far!
posted by koroshiya at 1:01 PM on November 18, 2011

I used to catch the seven and eight year old listening to Todd Rungren's A Wizard/A True Star album all of the time. They thought it was "trippy" and hilarious. Bonus: Smokey Robinson medley on B side with some wailing/whaling saxophone. Downside: each side is one continuous track. On LP...oh, never mind.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 1:03 PM on November 18, 2011

When I was around seven I had a thing for Ray Charles, Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Woody Guthrie, Talking Heads, and Henryk Górecki (don't ask me how I came upon him...).

Basically put lots of extremely good music of many genres that'll get the kid interested in other things and allow them to develop their own musical preferences. You should also make sure that it's music that an adult won't hate hearing on repeat because trust me, they will.
posted by ooklala at 1:11 PM on November 18, 2011

Secret Agent 23 Skidoo is pretty great age-appropriate hip-hop.
posted by tricolourfree at 1:22 PM on November 18, 2011

My kid loves DEVO
posted by the noob at 2:43 PM on November 18, 2011

posted by Brocktoon at 3:17 PM on November 18, 2011

posted by Sternmeyer at 3:55 PM on November 18, 2011

I was going to jump in and say Weird Al and They Might Be Giants.
posted by Gucky at 4:17 PM on November 18, 2011

My 7 year old loves Balkan Beat Box, "Cha Cha" best of all.
posted by Sublimity at 4:28 PM on November 18, 2011

My friend's much-younger brother loved Jonathan Richman around that age.
posted by thegreatfleecircus at 6:02 PM on November 18, 2011

Phineas and Ferb is a Disney show with a musical number every episode.

If you can get past the "Disney" part, the songs are actually pretty catchy.

Some samples on youtube (my 6 & 7 year olds nominated their favourites for you.

I like Backyard Beach but I can't find a working video of it, just the music:
posted by wenat at 7:56 PM on November 18, 2011

my friend's 7 year old loves the beatles. who doesn't? i loved them as a kid too, it's probably a pretty universal thing.
posted by messiahwannabe at 8:27 PM on November 18, 2011

It's me again, I can't seem to stop. My kid just mentioned that her favourite stories on her iPod are the How to Train Your Dragon audio books.

I got most of the audio books on her iPod from the public library.
posted by looli at 8:42 PM on November 18, 2011

I loved Stevie Wonder when I was a child. Some amazing memories of dancing with my dad to "Superstition."

In fact, I can't really think of any Motown music that wouldn't be fun for kids. O'Jays, Marvin Gaye (with maybe the exception of "Let's Get It On" for content's sake), The Temptations, The Supremes, Jackson 5, Martha and the Vandellas... so many timeless, fun songs.
posted by erstwhile at 9:16 PM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]

My boy's a little bit older (11), but he loves Owl City, which is very dreamy electronics stuff. He also really likes the whale song and symbols sort of stuff you'd hear in a spa and has a playlist for going to sleep.

My 16 year old would tell you that any self respecting person should have the Tiffany Aching audio books on their iPod. Acch! Crivens!
posted by Biblio at 10:17 PM on November 18, 2011

I was a weird kid who loved folk music, so i listened to John McCutcheon almost exclusively. He has some amazing kids albums that i uh, sometimes still listen to. I will have to say that Weird Al and They Might Be Giants are also amazing suggestions, especially since TMBG recently released a kid's album!
posted by ruhroh at 11:05 PM on November 18, 2011

AC/DC!! I know an even younger kid that loves it! Introduce him to the cool music.
posted by eau79 at 1:43 AM on November 19, 2011

Good call on the Beatles and Motown. Weird Al is a good idea. Maybe some peppy '80s compilations? If he's into particular movies, he might like the orchestral soundtracks... like, oh, I dunno, a Star Wars "best of"?

Also, he might enjoy some of the skits and songs from the old '90s Space Ghost "Cartoon Planet" show, which alas, may never end up on DVD. Clips can be found online. Stupid funny.

The visuals add a lot, but there are two CD compilations, and can be had for cheap used on Amazon.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 7:51 AM on November 19, 2011

Oh, and another good one is Jack Johnson, particularly his soundtrack album for the Curious George movie, even if he's never seen it.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:00 AM on November 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Melanie Safka - Brand New Key, Alexander Beetle and I Don't Eat Animals were all favourites (though you might want to be cateful of that last one!).
posted by goo at 1:21 AM on November 20, 2011

Response by poster: marking resolved, but i can't mark best answer because they're pretty much universally good. thanks, everyone!
posted by koroshiya at 11:17 AM on November 28, 2011

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