Parents fed up with the soundtrack of Frozen, which seems to be stuck on repeat in their children’s brains, may also not want to hear this advice from a music professor at Northwestern University, who regularly deals with unrelenting melodies.
Leave it there and enjoy it, says Ryan Nelson, music director in residence for Northwestern’s School of Communication. With everything, popularity always wanes and something always replaces it.
The tip may be too little, too late, however, for Frozen-fatigued parents who have taken to social media and parenting blogs to rant about the pervasiveness of the music from Disney’s highest-grossing animated movie.
The staying power of songs such as Let it Go, performed by the character named Elsa in the movie, can be attributed to a quality that musicians call the hook, says Nelson, who oversees music theater productions at the university.
It’s a part of a song that keeps coming back that really gets you, he said. It’s not just the melody, or the tune. It’s also the text and the lyrics.
Nelson said the best way to rid a mind of unwelcome music is to replace it with other catchy music. For the parents, at least, he suggests the soundtracks to musicals Avenue Q and Book of Mormon, which includes songs written by Frozen songwriter Robert Lopez. Kids can turn to more age-appropriate works – pop music is famous for hooks, he adds.
Rochelle Adkinson, a Chicago mother whose 2-year-old daughter is a Frozen fanatic, has tried that, but without much success.
Sometimes I do have to consciously turn on other music so I think of something else, Adkinson says. And when that happens, my daughter looks at me and says, Where’s Elsa?’