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A UNIQUE GIFT IDEA FOR PRE-TEENS AGES 9-13 - October 22 2011


What occupies a child's mind between 9 and 13 years of age? Josef Rattner, the Austrian psychologist, philosopher, doctor of medicine and author, suggests that the curiosity of these children is enormous. The love of learning does not have specific goals at this stage but it pushes them to learn everything. At its very core they want to learn the abnormal and the unusual. Who invented the airplane? Who went first to the North Pole? How deep can a diver dive? What is the largest river in the world?


The lust for knowledge can motivate a smart teenager to grab a college dictionary and start studying it from letter "A" with the intention to read all of it. Josef Rattner suggests that a variation of this stance is the pursuit of collections: a factor that influences the type of collections on one hand is the inclination of a teenager to demonstrate value and on the other hand is his desire to put some type of order in the chaos that surrounds him.


Stamps neatly placed in an album demonstrate the pride of an owner of "value," at the same time though they open the horizons for faraway lands. Sometimes the inclination to "collect" falters to something childish: one can come across children (even college students!) that collect beer caps or movie theater tickets. Rattner informs us that this is the reflection, at some level, of the cultural environment inside which the individual grows up, and to which degree the parents are able to motivate the spiritual interests of the child (if you collect beer caps, sorry to break the news to you, there is something wrong with your upbringing).


As adults we have the responsibility to stimulate the child's imagination and interest by offering creative outlets. Music can be a great outlet for a pre-teen. This is especially true when the stance we decide to take is to introduce a multitude of genres and show a child how to appreciate and recognize each of them. This can lead a teenager to acquire a wealth of music knowledge as he grows up which is a creative outlet and a great demonstrator of value for the kid. Demonstrating value here is not intended to mean "showing off" but a healthy demonstration of one's passions and interests which is as a bottom line what defines us as individuals.


One way of stimulating a teenager to develop a serious interest into music is buying for them one music album each month, say for a year (or depending on your relation to him, for several years). At the end of the year, say during Christmas, you could top that off with a portable mp3 player that will allow him or her to carry their music with them. Purchasing can be physical albums or albums via iTunes.


Taking into consideration that trash mainstream music is continuously shoved down pre-teenagers' ears as they grow old, we selected a list of music albums and sequenced them in such a way to trigger a pre-teen's curiosity and allow them to develop a musical ear for music that is deeper and more complex. Serving an 11 year old a Beatles album will probably result in an awkward stare and subsequent dismission of the gift. We list here an album "supply" for a year. What we should keep in mind as adults is that our utmost responsibility is to offer a child the freedom to make up their own mind on what music they like and help them appreciate the different genres of music.


One approach you could follow is introduce the child to different genres of music each year. When selecting these albums we aimed for the albums to encompass four criteria: be "happy," uplifting music as a rule although downtempo is also included, to offer the child a means of demonstrating value to its peers, to offer the child the opportunity to educate themselves on different genres of music and be able to appreciate different genres of music, we selected albums that do not use profanity. With each selection we also offer a few words you could include in your gift card giving some background on the album and why that is an album worth listening to:


JAMIROQUAI - TRAVELLING WITHOUT MOVING (1996): Travelling Without Moving is the best selling funk album of all time and currently has sold around 11.5 million records worldwide. Although the album was released in 1996 it captivates with its groovy melodies and funky beats.

Genre: Funk, Acid Jazz

Allmusic Editor Rating: 4/5


KID LOCO - A GRAND LOVE STORY (1997): Trip hop at its best. Kid Loco (Jean-Yves Prieur) is a French electronic musician, DJ, remixer and producer. A Grand Love Story is generally considered to be his best and most acclaimed work to date.

Genre: Electronic (Trip Hop, Downtempo)

Allmusic Editor Rating: 4.5/5


HOTEL COSTES, Vol. 2: LA SUITE (1999): A great album filled with downtempo house tracks compiled and mixed by Stephane Pompougnac, resident DJ of the Parisian cafe/restaurant Hotel Costes. We consider this to be the best compilation of the Hotel Costes releases.

Genre: Electronic (House, Lounge)

Allmusic Editor Rating: 4/5


THIEVERY CORPORATION - THE MIRROR CONSPIRACY (2000): Remarkable, downtempo grooves. The Washington D.C. based duo (Rob Garza and Eric Hilton) have created a masterpiece with jazz singer and professor Pamela Carroll Bricker contributing in several songs.

Genre: Electronic (Lounge, Dub, Trip Hop)

Allmusic Editor Rating: 4/5


DJ VADIM - THE SOUNDCATCHER (2007): DJ Vadim has been called one of the brightest and best producers in electronica. "The Soundcatcher" has it all, French ragga-rap, soulful female vocals, intriguing sounds, dub and hip hop with ambient elements.

Genre: Electronic (Ambient Dub, Underground Rap, Downbeat)

Allmusic Editor Rating: 4/5


PRETTY LIGHTS - PASSING BY BEHIND YOUR EYES (2009): This is the most solid electronic music album you will ever listen to. Underground musician Derek Vincent Smith, produces music that relies heavily on digital sampling. His music cuts across many different genres, it is rich, versatile, and amazes with every turn. You can purchase this artists' work only on his website.

Genre: Electronic (Glitch Hop, Funk, Hip Hop, Dubstep, Trip Hop)

Allmusic Editor Rating: not rated


ATJAZZ - LAB FUNK (2001): Martin Iveson (AtJazz) is a video game composer (Tomb Raider) and deep house artist. This album includes remarkable ideas and is a great example of deep house music, complex chords are underlying most sequences, with a soul vibe to the vocals.

Genre: Electronic (Deep House, Jazz House)

Allmusic Editor Rating: 1.5/5


BOOKA SHADE - MOVEMENTS (2006): DJs Arno Kammermeier and Walter Merziger are Booka Shade. This album starts really strong, with an extraordinary set of deep house tracks. The album becomes a bit more ambient towards the end.

Genre: Electronic (Deep House)

Allmusic Editor Rating: not rated


MORCHEEBA - BIG CALM (1998): This is the second album of Morcheeba. Trip-hop and dance rhythms.

Genre: Electronic (Trip Hop, Downtempo)

Allmusic Editor Rating: 4/5





CITATIONS


1. www.allmusic.com
2. Josef Rattner, Erziehe ich mein kind richtig?.

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