Music and Exceptional Kids “Lemonading Baby”

Michael has always loved music. As a matter of fact, he sang before he spoke, or rather we taught him to speak by singing words to him, as shown to us by his wonderful teachers in his adapted preschool. He also loves to play musical instruments, piano, recorder, guitar, and sing along to the musical creations he comes up with when strumming the guitar or pressing down on the keys. And he has an amazing singing voice. He can carry a tune, and with his photo retentive memory, easily memorizes song lyrics. Since he’s been three years old, he’s known most of the children’s song lyrics by heart!

Now, at eight, he has become interested in listening to all types of music, most recently contemporary pop music on the radio while we are in the car. We screen what he listens too, and he loves a mix of all types of pop, rock, and r & b music, from the 80’s until today. One day in the car, we were listening to an eighties CD compilation that a friend of mine made. It had the song “You Spin Me Round” by Dead or Alive. Michael loved it and was rocking and happy screaming in the back seat while listening to it. He would briefly stop rocking if we asked him to, but then seconds later would start again. “I’m so excited Mommy. I like this song.” He would say. He liked it so much that one day I heard him singing at the top of his voice “lemonading baby”. I was puzzled. What was he saying? Only after much process of elimination and the beat sounding similar, did I ask him if it was the “You Spin Me Round” song and he nodded in an excited manner. “Lemonading baby” he said and I laughed. That was what he thought they were saying in the chorus as the lead singer sang “like a record baby.” Another of the precious funny moments I get seeing the world, in this case, the pop music world, through Michael’s eyes.

The next funny incident occurred at a birthday party recently. He stood up, and to everyone’s surprise starting singing the chorus to Bruno Mars’ latest song “Uptown Funk”. When he sang ‘uptown funk you up, uptown funk you up” it sounded like something else if you know what I mean, 🙂  and another parent startled and looked at him and us. Johnny and I laughed and explained what he was actually singing. Michael’s interpretation of words sounds different from ours and the rest of the world’s sometimes.

For most children who are exceptional, music opens up the channels between their world and ours. It is the best way they have of communicating their needs to us, their Moms, and learning how to bridge the gap between our worlds. Moms, how many of your children have improved in communication, attentiveness or social skills when music or dance was involved? I’ll bet most of them. So don’t be afraid to engage them in these arts, from dancing and singing to and with them, to taking them to musical events, and to sharing the music you love with them. You won’t regret how it will bring you both closer and open up the world for both of you. Until next time.

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