Over the past year, my love for music has extended to podcasts! I love listening to them when I’m cleaning my house, going for a run, or procrastinating writing blog posts. They can be very educational, very entertaining, or a little bit of both! I’ve got a list of podcasts for my fellow adults, but also some that the kids will enjoy as well. Here are some of my favorites!
For Adults and Teens
I was reading an issue of LUX WMN, a Luxembourgish magazine about all things feminism, when I saw an article recommending a podcast called “Desert Island Discs”. I was really intrigued by the concept, so I checked it out and really enjoyed it! Basically, every week, a guest shares the eight songs they would take on a desert island with them. Oftentimes, these tracks have personal or sentimental reasons behind them, so this podcast is a great way to get to know some of the guests a bit more! It also gave me a really interesting question to ask my students. I love hearing what songs they’d take with them on a desert island—I honestly don’t think I could pick just eight!
Did anyone else’s parents listen to NPR’s All Things Considered in the car? Whether we were visiting family, heading to piano lessons, or even just going to the grocery store, mine always had it on in the background! When I found out that NPR has a music version of All Things Considered, in podcast rather than radio show form, my nostalgia forced me to check it out. It focuses more on pop songs and new releases, so it’s a great way to keep up with what all the kids are listening to these days! Each segment features a special guest talking about a new release, where they share their opinion and give you lots of fascinating information on an artist! I love hearing about new artists I’m interested in, or what my favorite artists from my childhood are up to now.
When I asked my friends what sort of music-related media they consume, this podcast came up a few times! As its name implies, it pits two songs against each other, and each of the two hosts (plus the occasional special guest) picks one of them to argue in favor of. Sometimes, the songs are rather similar—maybe they come from the same genre, or the same artist, or they’re known to sound very alike. Other times, they’re completely different, which makes it really interesting to hear how the hosts compare them! A lot of the songs they debate are from the 1990s to the 2010s, so after I finish an episode, I’m always queuing up my “Throwback Hits” playlist. If you like the songs they’re talking about, you’ll find the episode really enjoyable!
This is a great one to get some music theory knowledge in your brain! Some of the concepts are a bit too complex for young children; for instance, they probably won’t be able to wrap their heads around fully diminished seventh chords or modes quite yet. But that doesn’t mean you can’t! As a theory nerd, I love listening to this podcast. It’s a really great refresher on all things music theory, and also super informative! The hosts record the podcast in front of a piano, so not only will you be able to have them explain music theory concepts extremely well, you’ll be able to actually hear them played out as well. Another thing I love about this podcast is that it covers topics that you wouldn’t normally learn about in a music theory class, like instrument care and sound tech. These episodes may be great for younger listeners because the concepts are both interesting and easy to understand!
Ever wondered why we like the music we do? Why you feel sad when listening to minor music? Why songs like “Mr. Brightside” are so popular despite having one-note melodies? Check out this podcast to find out! I love finding an episode about my favorite song because I always learn so much—not just about the song, but about myself too! I actually had one of these episodes on in the background while writing this, and I got distracted because the concept was just so interesting. The episodes are shorter than most podcasts (only about 10-20 minutes each), which makes them great to listen to on the way into work in the morning or on the train home. I also like how the host covers a variety of songs, from pop music to film scores to Christmas music. There’s definitely something for everyone!
Not going to lie…I know this one’s 100% for kids, but I laughed a few times while listening to it! It’s hosted by David Williams, a best-selling children’s author and TV personality who certainly knows how to keep the kids entertained while educating them at the same time. He talks about the less serious and more unknown side of classical music—the “fun” side! Think along the lines of funny stories about Beethoven and Mozart. He also teaches children about other aspects of the classical era, like dance and performance. One of my favorite episodes talks about a ballerina who was so jealous of another performer that she released a flock of chickens onstage during the other ballerina’s performance. This podcast is really engaging, and you’ll probably learn a bit if you listen with your child!
I think this one is super creative—it mixes children’s stories and fairy tales with classical music! Some of the stories are more well-known, like The Emperor’s New Clothes, but others are not. Regardless, the stories are really entertaining, and the mix with classical music is really creative. I was listening to a few episodes while writing this, and I was sucked in a little bit! I think this one is great on the way to school in the morning, or if you’re trying to keep the kids busy on a long car ride. The episodes are relatively short (about 10 minutes each), so you can probably squeeze a bunch in at a time! This can also help kids develop a love for classical music.
My last recommendation is a lot of fun! In this podcast, the two hosts (Mr. Henry and Mr. Fite) discuss different aspects of music, ranging from notes to genres. One of my favorite series is their jazz episodes, mostly because it’s not a subject that is frequently covered in child-oriented music education. Additionally, this podcast is interactive! Each episode starts with a “music joke of the day” that audience members submit. A few of them are pretty funny (from episode 65: “What’s a music note’s least favorite vegetable? Beets!”). The hosts also discuss a “music word of the day”, which helps children build linguistic skills in addition to music skills. Finally, this podcast wouldn’t be complete without the Super Duper Music Listening Challenge, which encourages kids to develop those incredibly valuable ear training skills!
These are just a few of my favorite music-related podcasts! Which ones do you listen to? Feel free to message me on social media, @KelseyHopperMusic on Instagram, with any recommendations! Or, let me know when you and your child attend your weekly lesson! I look forward to hearing your suggestions!
See you in lessons,