I have been collecting records since I was a kid. We had a player in our home and frequently listened to LPs (fairytale read alouds, big-band classics, and symphony performances.) I love going to thrift stores, garage sales, estate sales, and online to find old and new music to spend the evenings absorbing.
Music has always been incredibly significant in my life. My parents not only stressed the importance of participating (harp, piano, voice), but they also put a lot of attention into listening. I mean really listening.
I remember car drives with my musician father, classical music station blaring, dad pointing out certain themes, motifs, or melody lines being played throughout any given piece. He would sing along with the trombones (his instrument) whenever they had a solo, or he would point out a beautiful cello line.
My harp teacher would have me come up with a story for my music. It helped me to mold my pieces into greatness, because creating stories is what I DO!
My mom started us on Suzuki piano/harp when we were very young, and the foundation of that method is listening.
Later, when I started teaching (K-8), I began all of my lessons with 3 minutes of listening, followed by 3-5 minutes of discussion. After a year of this, I could already see the changes and benefits of that activity. My students were more alert, their attention-span was longer, and they were excited about the “listening music”, creating stories, and learning from great composers.
How does this connect to my record collection?
We order, buy, or find one album a month. This doesn’t break the bank, and it slowly builds our library. We have some stellar older albums, as well as wonderful newer ones.
Listening to vinyls, for us, is a way of slowing down and listening. When we order just once a month, we have 30 days to soak in the sounds of that album, and engage in active listening.
Here are a 20 examples of our most played albums in 2018.
- Nickel Creek
- Ingrid Michaelson
- Amy Winehouse
- Song One (soundtrack)
- Breakfast at Tiffany’s (soundtrack)
- Aretha (ALL of her albums are GOLD)
- Frank Sinatra
- Dean Martin
- Fats Domino
- The Supremes
- Joni Mitchel
- Seals and Croft
- Simon and Garfunkel
- Myles Davis
- The Nutcracker
- Latin dance music
- Chopin piano
- Glen Miller Band
- Gypsy (soundtrack)
Should you start a collection?
Our vintage 1950s record player was broken in one of our moves, BUT we have cheaper one right now that does the trick. AND it’s true what people say about the quality of sound- try it and see, sooooo good.
You can start with a cheaper player, and just try it out. Doing the “1 a month” is really fun to build your library, because J and I will pick them together, and it starts to shape our year into a sort of hand-selected soundtrack. It a fun activity, and cost effective.
Here is a link to some starter players:
Amazon (this one is currently on sale, and included speakers)
Amazon ( this one has no speaker, but is a great price and great ratings.) It is similar to the one we have right now (we are between styles) and we hooked it up to a speaker.
Urban ( this one is super cute, and includes speakers, it’s a “suitcase” player.)
Urban( another cute one, separate speakers included.)
I would love to hear what the favorite albums are in your collection!