We have some comedians who read this blog. Just have a read of the comments from the previous post.
I decided against the ‘Top 10 things stolen from other people’s top 10 lists’ from Jonathon Clifforama
So I present to you:
The Top Ten Kids Music Resources.
So the rules for this little list… I am not including any of Hillsong Kids music resources. And will focus on any kind of resource that helps with creating/using/developing/producing/accompanying/pickling/whatevering music for use with kids and ministry.
This is stuff that we have used/loved and found valuable.
10. WDTV – Not the usual subject of such lists, this little device is absolutely brilliant for our multi-campus church. You put all your media… video MPEG files or a range of other formats onto any USB flash drive or an external hard drive and plug it where your DVD player used to be. The WDTV can then be used to playback all your backing tracks for Praise and Worship or curriculum in HD quality. There are a lot of generic brand units around that are similar, but I would trust the Western Digital brand any day.
I simply save an exact copy of our media flash drive on my computer, that way if it ever got lost… 20 bucks later I would simply drag the files over to a new 8/16Gb flash drive. We have this device in locations all over Sydney. It even has a seemingly well trafficked user community online. I paid around $200AU each for ours, but you can find them on special everywhere.
9. iTunes – It used to be that you needed to order CD’s and wait for them to arrive in the mail… I would be happy if I never had to buy another CD for the rest of my life. For a recent conference we needed a backing track for a Hannah Montana song. One search and click later and boom, the track is burnt to CD ready to use for the event! There are a bunch of music stores out there, iTunes is the largest and most available all over the world so it gets the number 9 slot.
That being said, there will always be a place for the humble CD, just like there is a place for vinyl records today!
8. New Wine – Ahh, the Motherland. My Dad is English and I have a British Passport so I thought I should add a nod to my ancestral roots. My connection with New Wine is Simon Parry who we wrote a song with last year called More Than Enough which is on this album right here. The New Wine team, a network of churches and believers across all denominations (from the website) do a great job releasing awesome music for all ages.
There seems to be a strength in the UK for networks connecting lots of churches together, another similar movement Spring Harvest does some great music for kids (and a few Hillsong Kids covers).
7. depakote price target=”_blank”>Doug Horley – Back in the day (which was a Wednesday), we rocked out hard for many months, perhaps years to ‘Put Your Hands in the Sky‘. It was a huge hit with our kids right around the time we started work on Jesus is my Superhero. He also pulls out some very surreal and hilarious puppet tracks on his CD’s between songs that really make me laugh.
6. Radio Disney – Millions of dollars are spent by the House of Mouse to figure out what kids like to listen to, so why not take that research, and make sure that money gets put to good use. Cultural trends are found all over this site, although in a fast paced Google world, Disney is unlikely to be ahead of the curve. They have always found their sweet spot right in the safe, profitable middle zone… not quite pushing the envelope but rarely behind.
There are fascinating discussions that can happen when you talk about lyrics with kids (especially preteens). Actually taking a song apart and dissecting it to see if those lyrics reflect the truth or are contrary to a Christ centred world view is very powerful.
5. Propellerhead Software – Creators of the popular Reason, ReBirth, ReCycle software packages. Now there are a LOT of options when it comes to creating music… on the Mac you have Garageband and Soundtrack Pro and for the Pro’s, Logic. There are a bunch of options for PC as well, but audio production is an industry dominated by Mac’s.
There are SO many options available to you but let me explain why I went with Reason + Pro Tools. The music I record is either creating demos or maybe music mixes for using in our programs. If I am recording a track at home, it is highly unlikely that it will just be left like that due to my limited recording abilities. So I chose Reason for the simple fact it has a HUGE library of Refills (sounds and loops etc) for just about every genre. So I can put something together pretty quick. It integrates tightly into Pro Tools via rewire (I just lost some of you) so I can take to our Church studio (who use Pro Tools) and continue working on it with the fancy gear.
4. Integrity Music – Integrity is a simply massive record label, they distribute all our Hillsong Albums in the U.S. and have a huge library of music! Check out the Kids link for the online store here. There is simply a heap of music here to inspire you and your kids!
3. CitiKidz – Go the Aussies! I love seeing churches rise up and put emphasis, value and effort into ministering to kids, so I have been so pumped to see Luke Harris and the Citipointe church team produce live Praise and Worship for kids! They have two albums out and you should get them for your church. In the U.S. they have partnered with Kidmo, so check out their site to order!
2. Yancy and Amber Sky Records – Yancy is a champion in music for all ages of kids and serves as director of Amber Sky Records which is part of the The rethink Group. She is a great friend and makes fantastic music AND my 4 year old has a big crush on her, although his girlfriend is now Zara and not Yancy he tells me. There are not too many artists from locals churches making music for kids, and hardly any making GREAT music, so give it up for Yancy. I am excited to see the resources coming out of Amber Sky as well!
1. Your Local Church – I have said it before and I will say it again, in terms of teaching, music, any creative endeavour, just roll with your pastor. Take your cues, direction and leading from your senior pastor/leadership team. So many of our themes and songs have come out of messages and teaching of Hillsong Church. Timing is everything… It took over 20 years for Hillsong Church to produce a kids album. I can tell you over the years plenty of people would have wanted to see music for kids produced, but I can tell you, in God’s timing he will make a way and the resources and backing will take it far above anything you could have hoped or dreamed.
P.S. Congratulations JavaJ, I will be sending you a copy of Hillsong Kids Ultimate Collection when it becomes available! (Matt, you were close). 🙂
P.S. Of course Jesus/the Bible/God etc. are all a part of this list, but like God’s thoughts are higher than yours and His ways barely comprehensible to your finite mind so is his position on this list. 🙂