Pint Size Polkas
Volume Two CD
Following up his 2008 album of kid-friendly material, Milwaukee
accordionist/singer Mike Schneider again brings old-time sounds to
the younger set with Pint Size Polkas. The album seeks to
bring children to the dance floor—or at least get them moving—with
oldies by Frankie Yankovic and others. Elsewhere, Uncle Mike has
fun on originals advising kids to wash their hands, practice good
manners and learn the alphabet. The style throughout harkens back
to an older-school Polish style with some Slovenian and German
elements thrown in for a mainstream polka vibe. There's enough
here for parents and tykes to get their Old Country groove on.
- Jamie Lee Rake, Shepherd Express
Pint Size Polkas
Volume Two CD
Polka is the official dance of Wisconsin and unofficial music of
this fine state. However, not being a native of Wisconsin, I have
never really understood the dairy state's fascination with it. So,
when a request came in to review a CD called Pint Size Polkas I
had serious reservations. The smart aleck in me tried to ignore
this record. The critic/cynic in me wanted to hate it. Yet, I
don’t. Here’s why:
I picked up my daughter from daycare and put Pint Size Polkas
in my CD player and proceeded to see my daughter dance in her car
seat for the entire 20 minute drive home. That alone has earned
this CD into regular rotation. This may not be my type of music
but it definitely won over my daughter pretty quickly. It was a
friendly reminder that kids music is for her, not me, despite me
enjoying a lot of kids music.
Pint Size Polkas is the brain child of Mike Schneider
(although he credits his wife for giving him the idea) and a
couple of his friends who perform under the name, Uncle Mike and
his Polka Band. Pint Size Polkas: Volume Two is a
collection of original “Alphabetical Order In The Court” and
traditional “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes“ kids music. It's an
album full of energy that clocks in at 30 minutes. The longest
song is barely 3 minutes long.
So consider me won over on the Polka record, I'm a convert. I sure
didn’t expect to be.
Pint Size Polkas Volume One CD You want happy? You got it! In this uncertain economic climate,
everyone needs to slow down, take a cleansing breath, and crank up
a polka album! And Uncle Mike has just the one for you and your
family: Pint Size Polkas gets the party started and doesn't let up
until the accordions come home.
The Mike Schneider Band have recorded five albums of polka music
for grownups, and Pint Size Polkas is their first CD for kids. The
album includes familiar tunes like "The Happy Wanderer," "The
Chicken Dance," a re-written "Tiny Bubbles in the Tub," and "I've
Been Working on the Railroad," as well as a couple of classics by
Polka King Frankie Yankovic.
But the fun doesn't stop there: check out the can't-be-missed
"Teach Me How to Yodel," the awesome sing-along "Hey Baba Reba,"
and the bottle-hoisting "Ein Milch," which may be the best
drinking song for kids ever recorded. You can also get in some
letter and number practice with "Alphabet Polka" and "Numbers
Schottische," then enjoy the "Jolly Lumberjack Polka," already a
hit on YouTube.
Pint Size Polkas Volume One CD Last fall I
was contacted by a very loyal reader* who said her husband had
produced a music CD for children. She asked if I would consider
reviewing it and giving a couple away to my readers.
What kind of music was it? Polkas for kids.
I know, the only two polkas I even vaguely know are the "roll out
the barrel" song from Zoom (geez, am I showing my age there?) and
hearing The Chicken Dance at many a wedding. But Buddy and
Princess love music-and Yankee Bill's father grew up in Northern
PA and grew up dancing and listening to Polkas all his life**, so
even though I don't do a lot of reviews I decided to give it a
It also didn't hurt that I love to be able to give something away
to you guys.
But then life intervened-and here it is March and I am very
embarrassed to just be getting around to conducting the review.
Pint Size Polkas retails for $11.98 and contains 15 fun and
educational children's songs. You can head on over to their
website to listen to the songs (just click on "music"). From the
"Children of all ages will learn about the alphabet, numbers,
careers, the benefits of drinking milk, personal hygiene and even
a fancy new dance step or two! Put the fun of polka together with
I wasn't sure how my kids would like polka music.
One of Buddy's (age 5) favorite songs is "Thank God I'm a Country
Boy" by John Denver, which is full of bouncy, happy banjo music.
Since Polka music is happy music-have you ever heard a sad
polka?-I figured there was a pretty good chance that Buddy would
Princess (age 7) on the other hand seems to be desperate to become
a preteen as soon as possible and adores Hannah Montana, Jonas
Brothers and The Cheetah Girls. I was laying even odds that she'd
just turn up her nose.
The first day I had the music on Princess wandered through the
room and commented on the "weird" music. The next day I asked
Buddy to hang out with me and listen to the CD. Princess came in
while it was playing and wound up sticking around just to listen.
Buddy: It's good. Can I keep the CD up in my room?
Princess: I think it's cool. I started thinking it was silly, but
the more I listened to it the more I liked it. It made me laugh-it
was really funny music. I really think that this is pretty cool
music but it is pretty funny, and any moms with kids-the kids will
probably like it.***
They proceeded to listen to the entire CD twice through. They
played the Chicken Dance alone about 4 times.
So yes, I would recommend this CD for someone looking for some
happy, fun music for their kids.
What, you don't have money in the budget to spend on children's
CDs? That's ok, we understand. Lucky for you I have 2 copies of
Pint Size Polkas to give away to readers! If you are
interested in winning a copy, just leave a comment with a way to
contact you. If you have a twitter account you can get a second
entry by tweeting a link to the drawing and then coming back here
and leaving another commnet letting me know about it.
The drawing closes on Sunday at 12 Noon EST, and I will be
randomly drawing 2 names and posting them by 5pm.
If you don't win the contest :( and are interested in buying a
copy of Pint Size Polkas-buy it through one of the links
here on this post-Uncle Mike will waive the shipping & handling
*Note: Really -
this wasn't just a PR person who read 2 posts and tried to pretend
they knew what was going on.
**Note: The only song that my FIL danced to at our wedding was a
polka. Up till the day he died, every Sunday morning he would
listen to a local radio station's special once a week polka show.
***Note: I did not tell her to say that! She's a born saleswoman
Pint Size Polkas
Volume One CD Considering the good vibes that polka seems to naturally engender,
it's something of a wonder that the children's market hasn't been
further exploited. Milwaukee bandleader/radio announcer Mike
Schneider goes a long way in remedying that with Pint Size Polkas.
The polka, waltz and schottische material sounds musically
authentic to the Slovenian-American style Schneider proffers
outside of his guise as Uncle Mike, replete with banjo to
accompany Schneider's accordion.
Ditties about drinking milk, recognizing numbers and taking naps
may be especially geared toward junior ears, but some of the
numbers are obvious repertoire favorites for audiences of any age.
Schneider truly does sound like a doting uncle wanting to bring
some ethnic culture and amusement to his nieces and nephews. The
only thing that could improve future volumes would be the addition
of background voices from Uncle Mike's target demographic.
- Jamie Lee Rake, Shepherd Express
Pint Size Polkas
Volume One CD
In the liner notes to his band's first children's CD, Milwaukee's
Mike Schneider admits that as a kid he fell in love with polka
music "at first sound." Now he's hoping to introduce a new
generation of young people to the genre with the 29-minute first
volume of Pint Size Polkas.
These songs (a combination of originals and Frankie Yankovic
tunes) should put a bounce in your offspring. After all, many of
them are built around already-familiar lyrics. There's the
"Alphabet Polka" and an accordion-fueled version of "I've Been
Working on the Railroad," plus "Numbers Schottische" and "Tiny
Bubbles in the Tub" (which borrows from the song Don Ho made
famous, while also reinforcing the importance of good hygiene).
One listen to Pint Size Polkas can make for wholesome family fun.
Repeat spins, however, may convince non-polka-minded parents that
it really is okay to let their toddlers dance around the living
room by themselves. (Mike Schneider will perform at the Essen Haus
on Feb. 21 and 27.)
- Michael Popke, Isthmus newspaper Madison,
12.01.09 Pint Size Polkas Volume One
Schneider and his Pint Size Polka CD is a HIT in my book. This
CD is fun for the whole family and is a MUST for any music collection.
This collection of 15 songs teach, educate and most importantly
entertain youth and their families. It makes learning fun in a style
that has not been attempted to this degree. Uncle Mike and his Polka
Band capture the true spirit of polka music with that great polka
tempo, excellent recording mix and FUN lyrics sung with well-balanced
harmonies. We will feature this CD on our show, The Polka Party
Express 88.5FM WMNF Tampa on December 14, 2008 as our way of
supporting this remarkable effort by Mike Schneider. No matter what
age, 5 or 95, all the Polkateers on my Christmas list will be getting
Pint Size Polkas for Christmas!
- Wackie Jackie Z.,
WMNF 88.5 FM
"My four-year-old LOVES your music, and I just had to tell you. He
is fast memorizing the lyrics to your Volume One CD and can't wait
to start listening to Volume Two! I introduced my son to polka
because it brings back warm memories of my Polish grandma and
Sunday mornings after church with my whole family. I want him to
have that connection, too. My son just loves it for the bouncy
beat and loves to dance whenever it is playing. I see that you
will be visiting my local library this summer, and we cannot wait!
Thanks, and keep up the awesome music!"
P., Eau Claire, WI
"I just wanted you to know we found an unexpected flaw with the
CD! We gave one to our son's daycare for Christmas because they
have dance time when it's too cold to go outside. Yesterday was
the first time the director used Pint Size Polkas for dance time
and the kids went nuts! She said they were dancing and jumping
around so much that the CD player kept skipping. She's never had
that problem before! She's going to copy the CD onto a tape so the
kids will be able to dance their hearts out without skipping the
CD player next time. It was a huge hit! All the daycare kids
Sadie H., Flandreau, SD
"Thanks for bringing us Pint Size Polkas. I grew up listening to
polka music because my dad plays the accordion and loves polkas.
He bought both Pint Size Polkas CDs for my kids who are two and
four and they LOVE them. They haven't listened to any other music
since getting Pint Size Polkas Volume Two for St. Nick. They want
the CD on all the time. Thank you again!! You do awesome work!"
Katrina B., Hales Corners, WI
"My son has an old black-keyed computer keyboard that I gave him
to pretend typing on. He now calls that his "flat-line accordion,"
and when I pop your CD in our stereo he marches around the living
room "playing" his "accordion." Thanks for bringing us so much
H., Menasha, WI
"I recently purchased Pint Size Polkas Volume One and gave it to a
five-year-old daughter of a co-worker. The co-worker told me that
as soon as her daughter got the CD she went into her room, played
it, and after a while called mom and dad in to watch her polka
dancing show. She had dressed up, put her stuffed animals in rows
and then started dancing to the CD. Looks like with the help of
your CD we will have another young polka fan in the world. Thanks
for the great CD - I can't wait until my only Grandson is old
enough for Grandpa to give him a copy also!"
Charlie P., Stevens Point, WI
"I recently saw Uncle Mike and his Polka band on YouTube with the
song Jolly Lumberjack Polka. My five and four year olds liked it
so much and were so excited about the video that I looked for the
CD. I have downloaded it and played it for them. We all LOVE it!
The kids are already singing along to the Alphabet Polka and
swaying in their car seats to Tiny Bubbles. As soon as the radio
turns on and they hear the accordion they shout Uncle Mike! My son
is five and absolutely loves the Flying Machine, otherwise known
as the airplane song. He will spread his arms and fly around the
room to it. He has also claimed this as 'his' song! So, if you
have young children and you love fun, upbeat, yet educational
music, I highly recommend Pint Size Polkas. I know your
children will fall in love with it!"
Sarah S., Colorado Springs, CO
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