“Getting the Music ‘Right’ In the Car” by Ty Curtis

February 4th, 2010

It’s kind of funny, but one of the first things we do when we finish a recording a project at ChildsPlayMusic.com studio is take the personalized children’s CD out to the car and listen to it on our car’s CD player. Doesn’t that sound silly! We have all of that fancy, good-sounding studio gear, yet we take the CD to a less expensive, just so-so sound system. There is a method to the madness at work here. You see, all of that state of the art recording gear can make the music sound really great in the studio, but the real bottom line is will the music sound good on an average car CD player? The neighbors get a real kick out of it when they see us running out from the studio to our cars to listen to another CD. It may sound like a trivial step in the recording process, but I can’t tell you how many times everything sounded just right over the studio monitors, and then when we listened to the project in the car, something needed to be bumped up or down in the mix.  The moment we hear something that needs to be adjusted we jot it down in a notebook, and continue listening. Once we have listened to the whole CD, and noted any spots that need to be adjusted, we head back into the studio. We make those little tune-up touches here and there and burn another test CD. More often than not we get it right the first time through. However, once in a while the car test reveals an area that needs to be touched up.

The truth is that we are some what of perfectionists here at ChildsPlayMusic. The things that we correct on a project, for the most part, would never even be noticed by our customers. But since we are the composers, singers, and the players, we notice even the tiniest detail that doesn’t flow the way we think it should. Then we get it right. We know that we won’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so we want that first impression to be a good one.

We take a lot of pride in our sound. So far in our young company’s three year existence we haven’t had one returned CD. Another statistic that we are kind of proud of is that over eighty percent of our customers are repeat customers. Many of those folks use us as a regular part of their gift-giving life. Our “Sea Animal Adventures” birthday CDs have been a staple for some folk’s “quick pickup” birthday gifts. They give us a call and we get it recorded and sent out right away. No problem.

So if you happen to be near our the studio one day, and you see a guy running out to his car with a CD in his hand, you know what’s up.  We are just making extra sure that when you order a personalized child’s CD from us that it is going to sound great when it gets to that special child in your life.

“Personalized Children’s Music Can Be Helpful for Children Who Don’t Like Their Name” by Ty Curtis

February 4th, 2010

I have been writing and recording personalized children’s music for a few years now. It has been exciting to say the least. Perhaps one of the most interesting parts of the this business is seeing the different names that are ordered on a day to day basis. Sure, the largest part of the names ordered are the names you would expect; names such as Hannah, Emma, John, etc. Those are very common names. But then there are a group of names that we call the special order names, or custom names. These are children with first names like Elizabeth-Ann, Mary-Liz, Anne-Smith, or James-Breelin. Those names are not the typical names that you would find in a group of five hundred or so people. Those names are the ones that are composed of two or more names.

Then there is another group of names that are special order names. These are the names that are fairly unique, or would not occur on a list of over a thousand names. These names are sometimes as unique as the passwords that you have to create these days for a bank account. I recall one day I received a custom order for a child’s name to be used in a personalized children’s music album. I will not disclose the name of the child because I am quite certain that no one else on the planet has the same name. I remember asking the parent how they came up with the name for their son. The mom told me that she wanted to name her child after herself, but when she gave birth to a boy instead of a girl it threw a monkey wrench into her plans. After thinking about it for a while, she said that she decided to reverse the letters in her name and let that be the name of her son! 

That brings us to the main reason for this article. Some children are not as confident in themselves as other children are. Some children just lack self-esteem. For those children, an unusual name can add to the weight of a low self-image. There are some children who feel almost victimized by the name they were given. I bet some of you may remember that old Johnny Cash song called “A Boy Named Sue.” That song was about a boy who hated his name. Not only did he dislike his name, but the song also talks about how he was picked on by other kids and taunted about his name. When a child’s name is “a bit on the unusual side,” the child may feel a little less than sure about how others perceive it. That is the perfect time to show the child how cool their unusual name really is. “How can I do this?” you may ask. Well, personalized children’s music would be an excellent way to show a child how special their name is. In our songs at ChildsPlayMusic.com we embed the child’s name at just the right moment in each song. The music doesn’t sound phony or contrived. The songs are really cool sounding, and the words to the songs are well thought up lyrics. (When your children are in their formative years you don’t want them to be bombarded with mediocrity, and we don’t either.) That is why we take the time to get our songs right. The songs are so catchy that your child will be singing along with the tunes in no time. In many instances the children get so excited about hearing their name in the songs they want to let others listen to their album of personalized music. You don’t have to take my word for it. Read comments from our customers.

This music can definitely useful in helping a child feel good about his or her name. We have found that even parents find themselves singing along. The next time you want to give a gift to a child who has an unusual name, personalized children’s songs might be just the right inexpensive gift with most value for the child.

Check out the music samples today at ChildsPlayMusic.com. We think you will like what you hear.

The Wonderful Effects Music Can Have On People

February 4th, 2010

For many years now I have witnessed the positive effects of music on people. I have had a fairly unique vantage point from which to observe. You see I have been a bi-vocational type of person for quite sometime. I have been a schoolteacher for 25 years. But before becoming a teacher I was a young, professional musician. I played the guitar and sang. I performed for many events and occasions. I have played at more restaurants and bars than I care to remember. I have played in classrooms, dorm rooms, and hospital rooms. I have performed for birthday parties, wedding ceremonies, and divorce celebrations. I have played for christenings of newborn babies, debutant parties for young ladies, and for funeral services, as families said their final farewells to loved ones.

On a few rare occasions my presence playing music seemed to have a minimal effect on those listening. However, that was more often the exception, and not the rule. I understood very early on that music usually has some impact on people who are listening to it. Sometimes the effect is profound, and other times it is minimal. But nonetheless the effect is real.

I have noticed that little babies, sometimes before they can even talk, respond or react cheerfully to the rhythm of a peppy song. I have seen my on children, when they were toddlers, start bopping up and down as they interacted with the beat of the music of my guitar. The sight of them dancing around at such a tender age would never fail to put a big smile on my face.

One summer, when I was on school vacation I was asked to play for a group of elderly Alzheimer’s patients. I played for them for one hour every week during that summer. The effect of the music on those kind folks was both encouraging and therapeutic for them as they sang along with me. Somehow they could go beyond the bounds of their illness for a short period of time and fix their trains of thought onto happy melodies that they had locked into their memories many years earlier. During the songs you could see their faces brighten as they found a rare moment in which they could interact with each other in a group sing-along.

As a classroom teacher I have seen the surprised, delight on the faces of many of my students as I created personalized songs for them. I did this by singing their names into songs I made up for them. And at the end of each song, without fail, every other child in the class would always say, “Make up a song with me in it.” The reaction of the children to the songs was so popular that I later formed a small music business called ChildsPlayMusic.com. As you may have guessed the main thing that I do in this business is compose and record personalized children’s music. This has been very popular among my students. It has also provided an opportunity for parents to share special musical moments with their children.

I have seen clearly that music of all kinds certainly does have an effect on people, and the most profound musical impact that I have seen is when children hear their names sung in a song that was created especially for them. You can hear examples of personalized music for children at ChildsPlayMusic.com.