Hamilton: Yay or Nay?

Hamilton is the ultimate new musical. It’s been going on for almost a year, and it’s still a hot(ish) topic. It renders a question that is much debated at GFS–is Hamilton good for kids?

Hamilton the Musical has gotten many kids interested in history, and the American revolution. It taught me more about those topics.

It explores Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers, his life, personality, faults, strengths, and all those connected to him. The more you listen, the more you become connected to the characters, you feel like you know them, personally (even though they lived hundreds of years ago). And no matter how much your siblings gripe about how annoying it is, you still like it. Well, that’s at least just for most of my friends. You might not be as passionate, but its lessons still pull you in.

And, of course, the music is good.  

Then, on the other hand, you might hate it. Or be ok with it. Or you could like it, and then it gets annoying.

Many people don’t like it. A lot of Hamilton lovers totally understand their reasons. Hamilton disapprove-ers complain about the cursing, song content, insults, and the over-listening. Yes, there’s a fair amount of cursing. One of the songs may be a bit inappropriate. The insults are. . . very creative. And many, many kids listen to Hamilton.  A lot.

Despite all of this, a lot people think that Hamilton is still good for kids, whether getting people interested in history, making people listen to music more, or other various reasons. 

Audrey Strom, a 6th grader at GFS, says,  “Hamilton doesn’t only teach about history, it also teaches something else. This lesson is that you really need to work hard to be successful- success doesn’t just come like ‘poof’.” Hamilton shows that you need to work hard. Hamilton grew up a poor, desperate, orphan, and became one of our founding fathers.

“ Hamilton really helped my kids get interested in history. They started asking lots of questions about the American revolution,” says Tobi Zemsky, the learning support and MS coordinator of student services at GFS. Gavi Gilbert-Trachtman, also a 6th grade student at GFS, couldn’t agree with her more: “ After I got interested in Hamilton, I would ask my dad tons of questions about the American Revolution on the way to school.”

Lucy Yanella, another 6th grader at GFS, says that she “likes how there is a nice variety of music- slow, rap, jazzy, etc.” Tobi agrees the music is “powerful and catchy”. Gavi uses the word “brilliant.”  All in different ways, these three people show that across ages, Hamilton touches the soul.

However, not all people adore Hamilton. Audrey likes it but thinks that people are kind of obsessed. “Some people sing it in school too much, and it can get a little annoying.” Lucy, even though she really likes Hamilton, agrees that it can be kind of inappropriate.

On the other hand, we can come up with a compromise. Audrey, Toby, Gavi, and Lucy, all gave me age ranges for Hamilton-listeners. Audrey thinks fifth grade and up, Lucy thinks ages eight and up, Tobi thinks nine or ten and up, and Gavi thinks nine and up. So, all about nine or ten and older. Maybe. . .  Hamilton lovers cannot sing it so much, as long as Hamilton dislikers don’t haggle them about how bad it is. And remember: try not to spread it to young kids! 


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