Music is a road trip must. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to play kids’ music to make kids happy. At the same time, not all kids’ music stinks.
Without further ado, the best music for family road trips:
Best all around: James Brown
The King of Funk and the almighty Godfather of Soul will have you all dancing. He may even teach your small folk to say “Please, Please, Please.”
Best not-annoying kids’ music: The Muppets
Beyond not-annoying, we’ll go with endearing, funny and mood-lifting. Many parents select The Muppets “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We say, without the video, you’re better off with Queen than monsters. Instead, go for “Mah nah mah nah,” and loop it. It’s an upper and a downer. When they’re awake they’ll tell you to play it again. The longer it plays, the sleepier they’ll get.
Best dance-party mix: Balkan brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia
Warning: you may sprain something. This is a joyful, rapid, thumping, gorgeous Romanian brass band. Our kids just call them “dancing.” If you turn around in the car they’re bouncing, shaking, laughing, wiggling, doing spirit fingers, and whatever else they can manage in carseats.
Best rock-and-roll artist: Elvis
Because nothing is funnier than a toddler doing an Elvis impersonation. And he’s got a nice mix of rev-’em-up jams and crooning.
Best nap-time album: Glen Gould’s “Bach: The Goldberg Variations”
Forget lullabies. Go classical. Cognitive arousal is good for their tiny brains, and may inspire a love of classical music. Music lessons could become their idea, instead of a Tiger Mom task. Classical pianist Glenn Gould is an excellent choice for beauty and peace. Bonus: you don’t have to listen to lullabies.
Image: Flickr/Marc Kjerland