EPISODE #46

Music Together-ish

EPISODE #46

Music Together-ish

Four years ago, Music Together teacher Anne Sailer told me the story that made me start this podcast. It was about her son Jacob, and how when he was a baby he hated when she’d sing lullabies. Like, they’d send him into a frenzy. Then, when Anne would sing to his little sister he’d shout to her from his room, “Your singing really interferes with my going-to-sleep process!”

Jacob when his mom's singing annoyed him

Jacob when his mom’s singing annoyed him

Jacob now

Jacob now

Now Jacob is a teenager and he’s known at school for singing all day long, even through his teachers’ lectures. So I went to find out his side of the story. I especially wanted to know what the deal was with the rockstar solo he pulled out at a concert in middle school. The one that his mom knew nothing about. Until, of course, she saw him belting it in front of everyone.

I don’t want to give away too much. Just listen.

11 Songs You Should Play for Your Children Before They Turn 5
Jacob says he doesn’t love his mom’s taste in music, but when I asked him to make a playlist for us last year, he wound up picking mostly stuff from our generation, not his. So chances are, you’re gonna like his picks. Just grab your kiddos, have a listen, and rock out!

How have YOUR kids surprised you?
Tell all. In the comments.

Photo of young Jacob: Josh Laurence; playlist photo: Richard Frank

11 thoughts on “EPISODE #46: Music Together-ish

  1. Thank you so much for this story, Hillary, Anne, and Jacob. My 4 year old son Miles seemed to enjoy my singing as an infant, but since toddlerhood he’s absolutely hated it. He yells at me and my husband, “PLEASE don’t sing!” And lately doesn’t like us to play music in the house either, though mysteriously he likes it in the car. He’s always singing to himself, and also beatboxes – no one taught him to beatbox, he just does it. He imitates the sound of multiple voices singing, sometimes tries to do percussion and vocals at the same time with his voice. We of course hope that someday he will this musical gift in ways that will bring him joy and fulfillment. And it would be nice to be able to sing with him too. :) I was in tears listening to Jacob’s singing, solo and with Anne. Thank for your sharing your story.

  2. Before I had my first baby last month, I listened to every single Longest Shortest episode. Today — a month into motherhood — I listened to it again. I totally get it now.

    1. Just wanted to say welcome to the club, and hang in there: the weeks you are living through right now are (in my experience) the hardest. It’s all uphill from here! :)

  3. What a great episode! This may be my favorite so far. I listened to it while I was jogging and I was in tears running through my neighborhood. I must’ve looked crazy. :) my younger brother is a musician and I remember seeing him perform as a child and he was so incredible. I always cried whenever he performed. There is something about seeing a child emerge as a creative person as so powerful and so affecting. Now I have two sons and I sing to them constantly, and my older son is beginning to sing as well. So this episode was poignant to me. But I also really liked it for a different reason too. When you first have a newborn who is screaming at you and has zero self awareness or care for you as another human being, it is difficult in those moments to imagine that baby as a whole person. And that first year is so hard and in some ways thankless. So I loved that the story took us from that crying newborn all the way to this incredibly talented, thoughtful teenager. It was sending this message — take heart, new moms, your baby will be a person someday — and probably someone who will teach you things about life. Beautiful.

  4. I am almost 7 months pregnant with my second so I am probably pretty hormonal at this point, but I had to share that the moment Jacob starts to sing his solo had me bawl with abandon in my kitchen, imagining myself in Anne’s shoes. Thanks for such a good cry, and *thank you* for the podcast in general!

  5. I totally agree with Rhea, especially about the part where she says “When you first have a newborn who is screaming at you and has zero self awareness or care for you as another human being, it is difficult in those moments to imagine that baby as a whole person. And that first year is so hard and in some ways thankless. So I loved that the story took us from that crying newborn all the way to this incredibly talented, thoughtful teenager. It was sending this message — take heart, new moms, your baby will be a person someday — and probably someone who will teach you things about life.” Sometimes with a newborn, it’s hard to see past those difficult times… The way I experienced it, I was always thinking I’d wreck my child with anything I would do… From the choice of songs to what I was feeding her, to how much “skin to skin contact” she’d get (unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of that… I’m getting better!), to the state of her environment (our home), to the number of times we’d get out of the house (in my case it was almost never, which didn’t help me or my baby)… EVERYTHING! It’s nice to remember that not everything is set in those first few months, it’s all work in progress! Thank you for this podcast! :)

  6. Great episode- I have an 18 month old daughter who never really responded to my singing…if she’s upset it doesn’t calm her down, if she’s happy it doesn’t upset her, she’s just indifferent. I love to sing, so I will not be dissuaded, but this story gave me faith that exposing her to music could still help her develop musical inclinations, even if she isn’t responding the way I want her to now.

    Also- listening to the playlist now and loving it! Brings me back to when I fell in love with music!

  7. Ha! I too started singing “You are my Sunshine” to my son and thought twice about those lyrics. So I changed them:

    You are my sunshine
    My precious sunshine
    You make me happy
    In every way
    So you should know dear
    How much I love you
    So I’ll tell you every day

    Really enjoyed listening to this episode.

    xx

  8. My husband is a professor and teaches a great class on pop music. But our teenager still doesn’t think he knows what he’s talking about. Haha – teenagers! Some of my favorite moments are when they sing along to her music together (when she lets her gurard down). Loved this podcast and the playlist!

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