From Gaga to Jay-Z: How Are We Shaping Kids’ Musical Tastes

Last weekend we stumbled upon a music festival at a microbrewery and naturally, we had to stay awhile. What a family we were, devouring barbecue and buttered corn only to be followed by a jam session that featured us three rockin’ out on our air guitars.

We drew a few stares and many smiles in this conservative enclave that’s closer to the Wisconsin state line than Chicago. But it didn’t matter, music lovers that we are, we were in our element.

The craziness started with Kings of Leon‘s “Use Somebody,” Logan’s favorite song. Later it was Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Train and even the Strokes. I took a moment and just watched my husband dance next to my little guy who was going ballistic on his air guitar. And I wondered, how much as parents do we influence our children’s musical taste?

Some studies have found that preschool aged kids are influenced by their parents’ musical preferences. While anyone who’s ever been a teenager will tell you if a parent tries to push them to like something, it usually backfires.

Think about it, what did your parents listen to and how did it affect you?

My dad played a lot of blues and jazz and we’d go to festivals soaking in impossible guitar riffs. Much of the gritty music I heard as a kid are the same tunes that inspired rock and roll, it’s no wonder I’m such a big rock fan.

It’s funny, some of my friends are astonished at my indifference to the hallowed Beatles or Elvis. It is good music, but the sound is different and it’s never spoken to me.

Now if you want to talk Motown, I can do that. We cleaned house Saturday mornings to The Four Tops, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Chi-lites and Miss Ross. I even remember when I first discovered rap, my dad introduced me to The Last Poets’ “Niggers are Scared of Revolution.” I was never the same.

So what about Logan? We play tons of music in the house that ranges from Beyonce to the Killers to Depeche Mode. (Hubby’s a huge fan of DM as well as all the great staunchly European groups.) What’s my little guy going to prefer? I have no clue, but it’s certainly going to be interesting watching his musical ears take shape.

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One response to “From Gaga to Jay-Z: How Are We Shaping Kids’ Musical Tastes

  1. Great Article! Brings back many good memories!

    Much Love, M.

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