My daughter is four, and very highly sensitive to sounds and to negative or sad emotions. She very much prefers the familiar when it comes to music. We have literally listened to the same CD in the car for over a year now, and I'm about to go insane. I've tried other CDs by the same artist (Laurie Berkner), and she'll listen to a few songs and then insist that we put back in her favorite CD. I've tried other artists, and she might like a song or two, and so she'll want to hear those songs over and over and over until she has them completely memorized, and then she wants to go back to her favorite CD. She seems truly distressed about it if we try to push her to listen to something else, and would rather turn the music off.
My husband likes to listen to "grown up" music in the house, and she becomes very distressed if he does. It's like she needs to stop what she's doing and listen intently to the words, and she's bothered if she can't understand the lyrics or if she doesn't understand the context behind the lyrics. If the song is sad or angry, she gets upset. After a few songs she becomes overwhelmed with listening intently and wants to turn it off. She can't seem to make it background noise. My husband wears his iPod a lot so she can't hear it.
Same thing if I try to sing a song around the house. I sing a lot, and like to bee-bop a bit while I work around the house. She'll tell me it's distracting her and ask me to sing in a whisper or to stop singing all together. If she is attracted to a particular tune I start singing, she'll want me to sing it over and over until she can memorize it and sing along.
On the flip side, she loves to sing herself, and will make up songs a lot. She'll ask me to sing along to her songs, which are often very, very creative. She's even getting fairly good at making them rhyme on the fly, which I find impressive for a 4 year old. She plays her guitar and drums, and seems to enjoy her own music. She also enjoys when we all sing "camp fire" type songs - especially if they're the repetitive type that she can memorize quickly (like 100 bottles of pop on the wall).
Is this something she's going to outgrow? Will we ever get to listen to anything other than the same 12 Laurie Berkner songs over and over and over? Seriously- I love music, and I sometimes feel myself ready to smash this CD to pieces. The songs are good, but it's been 12 months of them with nothing else!
Before this particular CD, she was fixated on the Wiggles. At least there we had 4 or 5 CDs she would rotate between. And before that, when she was around 2, she would listen to lots of different CDs.
I was thinking of making a mix of the songs she likes from the various different CDs (the ones she has memorized), and then maybe I could talk to her about trying to introduce at least one new song a week. Maybe that would be less overwhelming than trying to listen to a whole new CD, and we could just add it to the mix once she knows it. Any other ideas?