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cheyenne_h on 04/25/2017 at 01:29PM

All Ages: Kid-Friendly Music on FMA

A selection of albums from Kazoomzoom, a netlabel for kids.

The FMA's Terms of Use indicate that the intended audience for our archive is anyone 13 or older, but there are tracks on FMA appropriate for listeners of any age. But how to find them??

Lots of music on our site is available for use in noncommercial, educational contexts, so it's no surprise that teachers come looking for music they can use in student projects and for general classroom use. (Psst - if you're an educator with questions, check out our special FAQ, just for you!) But looking for audio that's safe for non-commercial use doesn't always return the most kid-friendly results. 

There's the netlabel for kids, Kazoomzoom, has been with FMA for years, and releases with names like "The Ambient Baby" -- but we wanted to make a better, easier way for parents and teachers to find music they could use.

Our best solution to this was to incorporate a new genre tag, "Kid-friendly," which collects all music that is either by kids, for kids, or both! If you cruise around this page, you'll find all sorts of stuff - songs about pants that try to ride a bike on their own, pirate songs, bouncy chiptunes, and much more! However, some of these songs may have lyrics or themes that are intended for specific ages within the kid-friendly range - so we ask that parents and educators still preview the music before sharing it with a younger audience. 

Are you a parent or educator looking for instrumentals? Try Podington Bear's short & catchy CC BY-NC instrumental treasure trove (and it's safe for use in video!) or the fabulous collection of classical music from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Do you make music for kids and want to add yours to the collection? Get in touch or comment below!

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ange on 12/24/2012 at 12:59PM

Lessons in Authenticity from Makers, Pirates & Occupiers: Guest Post by Alexa Clay

"The Hacker" Illustration by Tom Jennings from Imaginals

Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time in archives reading pamphlets written by 17th century pseudo-scientists: alchemists, astrologers, and hobby scientists. One thing I came to learn was that it was these freaks and rebels, these “deviants” that came to inform the boundaries of what came to be defined as modern science. In a similar vein, WFMU’s 2012 Radiovision Festival seemed to have an analogous logic at work – bring in the folks operating on the fringes and see how they might be able to re-invent or provide interesting musings on radio. So while it wasn’t alchemists and astrologers, the Festival, deliciously curated by WFMU’s Ben Walker, brought together pirates, hackers, occupiers and nomadic storytellers to explore the mighty question, what’s next for radio?

The festival kicked off with maker / DIY extraordinaire Mark Fraunfelder, founder of Boing Boing and Make Magazine. Mark noted that the maker movement was for him, and for many others, primarily about self-reliance, but at a deeper level also about self-expression. While less of an apologist, some of Mark’s comments reminded me of Sociologist Richard Sennett who outlines in his book The Craftsman the intrinsic pleasure associated with the act of making. What Sennett and the modern maker movement have in common is a vision for broadening the realm of DIY craftsmanship. Both also seem to link this renewed maker spirit with an active kind of citizenship. It might sound a bit magical: does a good maker translate into a good citizen? Well, maybe not yet, but it’s the first step really, it’s about people’s empowerment. The empowerment that comes along with do-it-yourself.

Over time, I think the maker movement really will become a force for good in the world. It’s a movement that can provide a new script for how we engage in the economy, not as consumers, but as producers, as active shapers of the economy itself. If makers turn their attention to re-thinking how we create primary commodities and services like food, energy, and healthcare, particularly at a local level, then the force of the movement could be really disruptive. We would not only be able to reduce our dependence on large corporations, but we would be in control of our own economic destiny. It’s an appealing vision, but one that we haven’t yet fully realized.

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