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Hits for kids

Music for children: Some tips from the Elbphilharmonie team

Songs to dance to, songs for dreaming, songs to sing along to: the Elbphilharmonie's education team presents its personal music highlights for children.

When dreams fall from the trees :»Der Traumzauberbaum « by Monika Ehrhardt and Reinhard Lakomy

Annegret (Education)

What's on the CD? »Der Traumzauberbaum« (»The magic dream-tree«) by Monika Ehrhardt and Reinhard Lakomy is a collection of stories told in songs.

The tree of the title stands in the  middle of a magic dream-wood on the outskirts of a city. Each of its leaves contains a dream. Waldwuffel and Moosmutzel live in the tree and lead us through the songs by choosing leaves with a golden tuning fork: the leaves create a sound and then fly to the children as dreams. There are all kinds of different dream stories – crazy ones, idyllic ones, even a nightmare in the form of a ghost duet.

Why is it definitely worth listening to? I listened to »Der Traumzauberbaum« all the time as a child, and knew all the songs off by heart. These are beautiful texts, sometimes dreamy and sometimes funny, that play with words. The different melodies are totally catchy, and are set in a register where children can easily sing along.

Recommended age range: 4 to 8

My favourite pieces: »Küsschenlied«, »Der Pfannekuchenschreck«

Rainbow and licorice :»Bällebad« by Deniz and Ove

What's on the CD? They have both written a few songs for the »Unter meinem Bett« series, and  now they've released their first album together, entitled »Bällebad«: Deniz, who plays indie punk keyboards with the group Herrenmagazin, and Ove, who has produced lovely nuggets of wisdom and truth ranging from indie-folk to italo-pop with his band OVE. On »Bällebad« they present wonderful pop music for kids and adults alike, sophisticated and cool at the same time. Deniz & Ove know that everything in these songs is life itself from children's point of view. »Bällebad« is a delightful album, brimming with terrific tunes, exciting stories and musical embraces that simply force the listener to smile, laugh, and reflect as well. Any adult hearing it will want to be a child once more with all his heart.

Why is it definitely worth listening to? What I find so appealing here is that these are pop songs for children that don't try to teach young listeners things; instead they describe what happens in kids' everyday lives, and turn it into a personal story in the form of a song: what do I like, what don't I like, and what's my response?

On the one hand this gives the listener access to the tradition of storytelling in songs, which can be a lot more than simple entertainment. But above all, music like this acts as an outlet and a vehicle for lots of things in life.

Recommended age range: from 4 upwards

My favourite piece: »Krümelkind«

Jonas (Education)

Classics to sing along to :»Sing mit mir Kinderlieder« by Kalle Klang & Die Flohtöne

Marie (Education)

What's on the CD? The first disc contains the 33 best-known classic German nursery rhymes from »Backe, backe Kuchen« to »Weißt du, wieviel Sternlein stehen«, while there are many more on the other three discs. The four CDs are also available as a box set, including booklets with the song texts.

Why is it definitely worth listening to? This is home-made music produced by a genuine Hamburg family, lovingly arranged in a wide variety of styles, and in super quality. If you take the trouble to read the small print in the booklet, you'll recognise the names of one or two top Hamburg musicians among the musical guests. In practice, this CD enabled us to take long car trips with a toddler, and my little daughter hasn't tired of listening to it and singing along in two years. Though I have to admit that the recommendation is not risk-free…

Recommended age range: suitable for babies, and for as long as the kids want to listen to it. A super choice for the parents of a first child so that they can sing along in any situation.

My favourite piece: »Kommt ein Vogel geflogen«

»But I carry on singing, come what may...« :»Der Sängerkrieg der Heidehasen« by James Krüss

What's it about? Something's going on in Obereidorf. Lamprecht the Seventh, king of the hares and rabbits, promises his daughter's hand in marriage to the one among his subjects who sings the finest song in her honour. What a stroke of luck that little Lodengrün is an excellent singer – his heart has belonged to the princess for a long time. But Lodengrün doesn't have an easy time of it, even though the hare Hyazinth Löffelstein sings way off key: the Minister for Hare Song and Director Wackelohr have a few things up their sleeves…

Why is it definitely worth listening to? I particularly like the way the story is sung sort of by the way. The distinctive barrel-organ accompaniment in the title song,which leads us through the plot, is reminiscent of the singers of street ballads in the 19th century. You feel you can hear the hare singing right under your balcony window. I am fascinated by the slow speed and the simplicity of the production. And best of all, of course: the good wins through in the end!

Recommended age range: from 4 upwards

My favourite piece: »In dem Reich der Heidehasen« (opening song)

Charlotte (Education)

Rock made by children for other children :»Achtung Kokosnuss« by the Zuckerblitz Band, Porky (Deichkind) and Malo

Pirkka (Education)

What's on the CD? It all started during a winter vacation on Hawaii. As a major contrast to rainy old Hamburg, Hawaii offers sunshine, beaches and – of course, coconuts! Plus plenty of music, as you would expect when two old friends and top musicians get together again. By the end of the trip, a new band had been born: the Zuckerblitz Band, consisting of Porky (Deichkind), Malo and their children.  And the band's style certainly can't be pigeonholed:  they play rock and reggae, new wave and punk. The debut album from the two Hamburg lads and their kids is a real blast!

Why is it definitely worth listening to? The style somewhere between post-punk and power pop is very refreshing at a time when the musical mainstream takes its cue almost entirely from electronic music. Something different for a change. Plus, the texts, or at least some of them, were written by the children.

Recommended age range: 7 bis 12 Jahre

My favourite piece: »Achtung Kokosnuss!«

Dance classes for the king :»Der Reggaehase Boooo« by Yellow Umbrella

What's it about? The King of the Reggae Forest can't dance any more, so he has closed the rehearsal room. But reggae rabbit Boooo wants to hear music again at all costs, and turns to Schlomo the Cat and many other forest dwellers for help. Who is going to persuade the grumpy king to start dancing again?

Yellow Umbrella is an international reggae and ska band from Dresden. When their singer, songwriter and keyboarder Jens Strohschnieder, thought up the wonderful story of the reggae rabbit who wants  to rescue music and dancing, it was obvious that he was going to be writing the accompanying music.

Why is it definitely worth listening to? The entire story conveys an impression of reggae and ska music to children in a particularly imaginative way. Each piece has its own character and reflects the different currents within the musical style. The music was developed specially for the picture book, and encourages listeners to sing along and dance. Overall, this is an album full of variety and free of clichés that puts you in a good mood!

Recommended age range: 3 - 10

My favourite piece: »Der Ein-Bein-Song«

Sara (Education)

»Just five more minutes!« :»Keine Märchen« by Deine Freunde

Juliane (Editorial)

What's on the CD? In the meantime, Deine Freunde have achieved cult status. With wicked beats and witty texts, the Hamburg hip-hop band has played its way into the hearts of parents and children alike since 2012. One of the subjects of the album »Keine Märchen« (No Fairy Tales) is the question of what is suitable reading material, and how long five minutes really last. There is even a song dedicated to the evergreen of all the things adults regularly say to children: »You've really grown, haven't you?!«

Why is it definitely worth listening to? Because it's fun to listen to! My children were given the record or Christmas, and spent weeks playing it in an endless loop. And even now, they still get it out regularly and sing along at the top of their voices. The music and the texts alike are just as much fun  for adults as for children, as they put familiar subjects in a nutshell with a good dose of humour – accompanied by music that's great to dance to!

Recommended age range: age 6 upwards

My favourite piece: »Nur noch fünf Minuten!«

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