Pint Size Polkas

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05.24.11 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

Milwaukee, WI

11.19.10 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.

- Dan Walsh,

03.11.09 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.

Tons of fun for young and old!

- Warren Truitt, Kids Music that Rocks

03.05.09 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 shot.

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. Sigh.

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 website:

"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 great education..."

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 like it.

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. Their comments?

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 fee.

*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 that one.

- Jenn, Frugal Upstate

02.22.09 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
Milwaukee, WI

02.06.09 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, WI

12.01.09 Pint Size Polkas Volume One CD
Uncle Mike 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
Tampa, FL
CDs $11.99
Plus $2.98 Shipping & Handling
Pint Size Polkas Volume Two: Dance! Pint Size Polkas Volume One

Christmas Kielbasa

MP3 Albums
Pint Size Polkas Volume Two: Dance! Pint Size Polkas Volume One
Additional purchase options
Fan Reviews
"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!"
- Jill 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 heartily approve."
- 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 joy!"
- Lori 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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