How – and Why – To Choose Kid’s Online And Radio Music

In today’s technology driven world, children are influenced by many devices, from the newest tablet to traditional television. The media has fiercely latched onto technology by offering an array of children’s music. Turn on a basic AM/FM radio, tune in to satellite radio or stream Internet radio to find dedicated kids’ music channels. These vast choices are incredibly influential and important to child development, both mentally and physically.

Age-Appropriate Music

In the past, parents and caregivers had to be extremely careful about turning on the radio for fear of an inappropriate song. Today’s radio outlets have specific channels for children’s tunes. As long as the channel isn’t changed, it’s virtually impossible to hear an offensive song. Older children can be given a set of channels to browse through under supervision. With approved channels in hand, children have a sense of independence as they find their favorite songs. Fostering trust and independence as children grow older are important concepts for the adult years. Online and radio music provide several outlets for these concepts to flourish.

The Advertising Component

Regardless of the genre, kids’ channels will have advertising. Although this may be frustrating, the advertisers’ goals are not covering ages one to 100. In fact, ads are targeted toward children and adults for educational and social games, for example. You may hear about a new app, game or toy that could enhance your favorite child’s life through these ads. If you want to avoid them, try purchasing an online or radio subscription. When you pay for specific channels, businesses often omit the ads to a certain degree. Leaning on ads for business income is the main reason you hear them so often. Even radio and online channels must make a profit.

Choose Several Outlets

Leaning on radio tunes to lighten a daycare or home environment is a smart choice, but mix up the channels as much as possible. Try educational songs in the morning to catch children when they’re fresh. Even the musical genre should be altered, such as switching from jazz to classical. Loosen up the children with silly songs from favorite television shows or movies. With so many online and radio channels to choose from, children have an almost endless array of song types. You could even add in a foreign language song to make the children think on a larger level than just their neighborhood.

Helping The Developing Brain

Children’s minds are emerging in the early years as they make new connections every day. Their actual brain cells are forming neural pathways for more complex cognitive functions later in life. Scientists have discovered that musical interludes throughout the day typically increase neural connections, allowing them to learn more at a faster rate than without songs. Parents can even start online and radio music while they are pregnant. Fetuses are aware of rhythms and beats, giving them a head start in brain development before birth. Continue playing songs throughout young childhood to watch them blossom. From simple tunes to complicated classical songs, you are the child’s first teacher.

Brings Kids Together

If you subscribe or simply listen to free radio, set goals for children when they are in groups. For example, ask them to listen to a song and talk about it afterward. These games are fun, but also provide a level of socialization as discussions create friendships and good times. Songs can be silly to generate more conversation for younger children, for example. After the song is discussed, children discover their likes and dislikes, along with learning about their friends’ interests. Use different tunes each day to create a social atmosphere that encourages public speaking and communication.

Songs And Learning

Search for a radio or online station that has educational songs. There are plenty of tunes that discuss animals, elements, numbers and letters. Ask children in a group atmosphere to sing along or create their own song based on what they just heard. Learning needs to be fun to be effective, allowing children to build a strong basis for future school success. Asking if a cow says “moo” or reciting the alphabet are simple ways to engage youngsters. Online and radio stations may even have songs you’ve never heard before, but are wonderful additions to daily listening.

Physicality And Games

Children need to be physical throughout the day. It increases their motor skills and lets off steam. Songs played continually throughout a musical chair game, for example, are perfect ways to introduce new tunes. Online radio is perfect for these games because of their short advertisements. Select a new genre each day while children wiggle, dance and jump around. Along with staying physically healthy, they learn about rhythm in the body and how to move with a song. Even offer child-friendly instruments to the group, giving them the opportunity to play along with the songs. Their minds expand with new experiences that only enhance their schooling in later life.

Turn on the satellite, AM/FM or online radio to browse the channel selections today. There are literally dozens of stations for every age group. You’ll find songs that encourage friendships, self-esteem and fun every day.


Caregivers have many choices when it comes to kids’ tunes filtered through different radio outlets. They choose from age-appropriate songs that educate or entertain, depending on immediate needs. Children’s brains use rhythms to form connections in early life, contributing greatly to future success and creativity. By forming healthy social groups, based on musical tastes, kids grow on an intellectual level.

Is Popular Smooth Jazz Radio Dying Out?

Smooth jazz listeners worry about their favorite genre dying out and variations of it taking over. But louder critics blame the changes in how popular music continues to reinvent itself to gain in popularity and bring in new listeners. Is either critic correct? It depends on who you ask.

It’s not just one category though. Traditional country, conscious hip hop, rock n’ roll and today’s R&B also see some backlash from old-fashioned audiences who don’t agree with upgrading something that they view as ideal already.

For country critics, Blake Shelton singing about the Dougie dance on “Boys Round Here” while releasing new soul-inspired songs like “Sure Be Cool If You Did” seemed blatantly different from his backyards songs like “Honey Bee.” R&B artist Trey Songz sang “Heart Attack” right after singing party tracks, such as “2 Reasons.” Tyrese had no problem crooning out “Stay” but got people on the dance floor with collaboration radio-friendly songs, such as “Pick Up the Phone.” Conscious rapper Lupe Fiasco has countless lyrical hip-hop songs but shocked the world with his anti-voting lyrics on “Things I Never Said,” especially after radio stations blasted “Show Goes On” nonstop. Hardcore rock fans still growl about top bands like Aerosmith doing songs like “Cryin'” and “Crazy” when they were already winning with songs like “Janie’s Got a Gun.”

There are numerous artists in many genres who tend to be more versatile in their delivery and make songs to please multiple masses as opposed to just one group so why should smooth jazz be any different? The songs that receive radio play may not be the songs that all listeners want to hear nor are they always the best from the artists’ libraries, but just like online music categories, many top songs (both indie and record label hits) are up for interpretation.

With online and indie radio stations, such as iHeart Radio, AOL Radio and Live365, it’s more convenient for listeners to play the type of song selections that they want to by similar artists and song genres. iHeart is more concerned with picking related artists, but AOL lets users narrow their selections down to even the most minute detail (big band and swing, bop, fusion, Martini lounge, modern and New Orleans sound). But that doesn’t mean when fans log on to their favorite online stations, there won’t be some questionable music selections worth skipping even if they pick the option they like the most.

Traditional easy listening relies heavily on instrumentals, usually with saxophones, piano and guitars being the primary instruments of choice. Although singing lyrics aren’t required, some artists have managed to successfully blend the two. (And AOL has a station for vocalists as well.) Adult contemporary artists who remained true to appreciating the instrument as much as the singer blended R&B crooning with the sounds of live bands. Today’s popular artists who made the genre more contemporary are Anita Baker and Kem. Well-known songs of theirs include Kem’s “Share My Life” and “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” and Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” and “Same Ole Love.” But who can resist humming Billboard’s best jazz hits from veterans like Kenny G on “Forever In Love,” “Songbird” and “Silhouette”?

Other variations of the genre are categorized as “urban,” “chill” and “easy listening.” And oddly enough, The Weather Channel has taken quite a liking to using instrumentals during the Eights on the Hour. Even non-fans want to know the weather so they have to listen whether they want to or not.

Arguments continue about who invented the music. New Orleans, La., prides itself on creating the genre from a 20th century mix of blues, gospel and ragtime. And while that may be true, the audience has physically changed in the last century from African American to white and back again, depending on the artists’ fan-base. And with the audience revolution, the culture within the groups may influence the preference of heavy electronic sounds, live small bands, rhythm and blues or a big band. And while the categories may be drastically different, online stations’ priorities were to make sure the instruments didn’t just become “background” tunes. For the most part, both online and regular stations have been able to consistently play that style.

Musicians choosing to make instrumental versions of popular songs didn’t help traditionalists either. The attitude of the recycled sounds make some from a younger demographic want to tune in, but an older crowd may wonder what’s the point. If they wanted to hear that song, they’d tune in to the station that played the original version. And then there’s the middle ground area with those who may just want to hear the song without the artist bellowing over it.

However, when top companies like Chicago’s WNUA were put out of business for relying on the genre, there were questions about whether people were still as interested in the sounds of live music or had electronic recordings taken over. WNUA’s 99.5 FM was replaced with a regional Mexican Spanish program — not even close to what Clear Channel was previously airing. Similar abrupt dismissals were seen in Miami, Orlando and Tampa, Fla.; Atlanta, Ga.; Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio; Dallas and Houston, Texas; Minneapolis, Minn.; Harrisburg and Philadelphia, Penn.; Baltimore, Ma.; Washington, D.C.; Indianapolis, Ind.; Sacramento and Modesto, Calif.; Dayton, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisc.; and Lansing, Mich.

But with the success of companies like Chicago’s Hyde Park Jazz Fest and New Orleans Jazz NHP (National Historic Park), companies were reminded that there is a loyal audience for the tunes even if the transmitting system is more likely to come from an iPod or notebook computer instead of the car. And for those who still refuse to log on and join the computer-dependent crowd, these live events give enthusiasts the opportunity to mingle with other lovers of the culture.