An HBO special premiering Saturday features a diaper-clad maestro conducting an all-animal orchestra, but the cute images and world-class score haven’t deterred critics from assailing “Classical Baby” as an inappropriate attempt to introduce infants to television.
Critics, though yet to see the show, are unconvinced that any TV is good for children under 2. The Boston-based Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood has called the program a “classic hoax” and is urging parents to avoid the show while protesting with phone calls or e-mails to HBO.
First of all, my kids weren't really interested in television until they were well past two-years old. Oh, they'd look at it for a few minutes but then they'd go back to whatever toy they happened to be holding onto and walk away from the TV with indifference.
Secondly, it seems like HBO's show is a pretty good idea. Introducing children to classical music is a good thing (as has been shown by a number of researchers). I don't see how music on television is different than music on a CD-player or a computer.
I suspect the naysayers are nothing more than the same kinds of folks who have labeled TV - ALL TV - as bad, people who have made those claims since the invention of television. In their view, they won't be happy until children must ask parents, "What's that strange box with the dark glass face?" and parents reply, "It is the demon Oracle of which we must not speak nor bring to life with electricity!"
Puh-leeze. It's the 21st century and if you're going to hide television from your youngsters, you'll be cutting them off from the primary medium of the modern world. Works if you're Amish, I suppose, but I can't see what advantage it would have for any other family.