Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Karaoke for kids - what did I expect??

Well, I walked right into this one.

Today our local club had free holiday activities for kids, which I'm always interested in, so we went to the free kids' karaoke. I guess I was thinking they'd sing songs from High School Musical and Hannah Montana and, you know, kids' songs.

But no. The songlist for the kids was appalling. All Pink, Lady Gaga, Veronicas, Katy Perry, Pussycat Dolls and so on. Good for people in their twenties who hang out at nightclubs. Not so good for primary school kids.

The kids there who sang were aged about 4 to 12. Most were about 7 or 8.

These little kids were singing 'So what, I'm still a rock star'. A girl aged about six sang "I kissed a girl and I liked it'. Everyone seemed to know Lady Gaga's Just Dance, about being shitfaced on the dancefloor. A girl about 7 sang Britney's Oops I did it again (I'm not so innocent). Little boys and girls together sang 'Smack That' ('til you get sore) by Akon.

Some of the mums got up for a sing. The song they chose was The Pussycat Dolls, 'When I Grow Up' (I want to have groupies). Nice role modelling.

There was another book of songs to choose from, The Klassiks, a book with 119 pages of songs from Billy Holiday to Elvis, The Beatles and everyone else from the last fifty years. There was one page of songs For Younger Kids, consisting of songs from musicals, most of which children today wouldn't know, and songs from Lizzy Maguire. My kids sang The Hokey Pokey, from the book of Klassiks.

The book of songs for the kids was exactly the songs they shouldn't know and shouldn't be singing.

There was nothing cute about it. It was just disturbing. I wanted to leave right away, but we'd met some friends there, so we stayed. It was kind of like watching a car crash. Whatever this experiment is, it has failed.

So, there's another letter for me to write.


Jenny said...

Sounds like a nightmare. Write that letter.

Motherhugger said...

Letter sent. We'll see how they respond...

Maire said...

I've an 11 year old girl so I am familiar with this nightmare. I've given her the talk (often repeated) on how these lyrics are degrading to women, talk of women only in terms of their appearance, etc etc. I think she does get it? I *suppose* (optimistically) you can use these scenarios as a chance to help a girl identify sexism, develop critical awareness of it (as appropriate).

Motherhugger said...

Thanks Maire. We do talk about that.

My daughter recently said to her dance teacher 'Can we please not dance to Lady Gaga - I'm 9'. The teacher agreed.

And someone from the club called me right away and said she'd deal with it and keep me informed. Good response.