The Kindie Movement: Independent Children’s Music in the United States Since 2000

  • Tyler BickfordEmail author
Part of the International Perspectives on Early Childhood Education and Development book series (CHILD, volume 27)


This chapter considers the development and expansion of the “kindie” children’s music industry in the United States since 2000. Kindie music has been largely defined by children’s artists’ expansion into a wide range of pop-oriented musical genres and styles, growing outward from indie rock to encompass genres including hip hop, country, R&B, ska, punk, electronic music, and metal that were relatively unrepresented in earlier children’s recordings, by artists such as Laurie Berkner, Dan Zanes, David Weinstone, Recess Monkey, The Okee Dokee Brothers, and others. Critical reception by journalists, parents, and other musicians has largely focused on parental taste, suggesting that previous children’s music offerings (frequently citing Raffi and Barney) had long been unpalatable to adults, but now kindie musicians making music for kids was also acceptable to adults. While these critical discourses are limited and often unfair to earlier musicians, they have provided a remarkably stable and effective rhetoric around which a diverse collection of musicians has cohered and grown. Based on interviews with several dozen musicians, this chapter considers how issues of taste have defined the kindie movement, while offering a critical appraisal of the relationship between musicians, parents and child audiences, developed in kindie recordings, performances, and discourses.


Kindie music Children’s music industry Children’s artists Cultural production for children 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EnglishUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA

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