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Twinkle twinkle little rock stars: Today’s tots ditch traditional nursery rhymes for hip-hop and R&B

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Forget ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’ — today’s tots are turning up the volume with AC/DC, proving even nap time needs a killer soundtrack.

A recent survey has found that over a quarter of parents view traditional nursery rhymes as outdated, with young children now preferring genres like grime, R&B and rock.

Music charity Youth Music reports that 28 per cent of parents consider nursery rhymes old-fashioned.

Nearly one in five children under five enjoy rock music, and almost half of parents – 45 per cent – say their kids favour other genres, with hip-hop and R&B topping the list.

Despite the importance of nursery rhymes in developing language and communication skills, 47 per cent of parents believe the lyrics need updating, even if the melodies remain appealing.

Despite the importance of nursery rhymes in developing communication skills, 47 per cent of parents believe the lyrics need updating, even if the melodies remain appealing (Stock image)

Despite the importance of nursery rhymes in developing communication skills, 47 per cent of parents believe the lyrics need updating, even if the melodies remain appealing (Stock image)

Examples of problematic rhymes include ‘Rub a Dub Dub,’ associated with Cockney rhyming slang for ‘pub’, and ‘Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe,’ which has roots in ancient Celtic rituals.

With technology and on-demand music services providing children with a broader range of playlists, Youth Music’s research shows that 51 per cent of parents learn about new music through their young ones.

Matt Griffiths, chief executive of Youth Music, told The Times: ‘It’s clear that music, whether that is traditional nursery rhymes or more surprising genres like rock, plays an important role in nurturing the creativity of pre-schoolers.

‘As music tailored to early years children continues to diversify, the tried and tested route that is typically taken with pre-schoolers’ music education is no longer resonating.

‘With current policies doing a disservice to children’s creative growth, Youth Music will lead the charge in reimagining creativity in early years education, calling others to pay attention to and nurture the creativity of these young people.’



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