What kind of music is appropriate for my children?

It has been proven over and over that music education greatly improves the child’s development. The benefits of early musical training cannot be disputed.
But there is a big problem: what kind of music is appropriate for children?

For the younger age (2-5), it is obvious that childish simple songs are the best repertoire. Children enjoy it without any difficulty.
But the problem arises with the next stage (5-10), which is the most important for musical development. Here is the core of the matter. Usually teachers enforce their own choice, which most of the time is classical music (Beethoven, Mozart and after). If watched carefully, children don’t seem too enthusiastic about this.

The choice should belong to the child. But unfortunately the child’s taste might be influenced by peers or tv shows in the wrong way.
The wrong way means:
- for the girls, most disco and rap music pushes them into a too premature understanding of sex. Girls listening to most mainstream tend to become ‘naughty, sexy, bitchy’;
- for the boys, a large section of heavy metal would transform them, more or less, into young evil monsters.
Some parents may find both situations to be quite funny, but they are not.

Can parents influence their children’s taste?
Unlikely.
Is it ok to enforce a certain type of music over another?
Enforcement – not a good idea, in the long run will have reversed effects.

What types of music we shouldn’t expect a child to enjoy?Let’s eliminate what most children do not like much or not at all: classical music and jazz.
What music can we expect the children to enjoy? Pop-rock and pre-classical (baroque). However pop-rock should be selected with much care. Also baroque is nice to listen to, but, for a child, it is difficult to play.

However there is a certain type of music, more appropriate for children, which has been completely neglected: the Medieval music.

Why Medieval?.
In order to understand this, let’s look from a different point of view :”What kind of literature do children enjoy most?” The answer is: FAIRY TALES. The young mind is mesmerized by the magic and the filtered reality provided by these stories.
What kind of music relates best to fairy tales? Obviously, the music of the Medieval and Renaissance age. And there is no better alternative to that.

In conclusion:
- music is very important for child’s development
- children don’t like most of the music they are supposed to learn
- the best choice and most acceptable is the medieval music, related to fairy tales which children love.
- another option is rock music, but very carefully selected

A few consideration about rock. We detected three major parts of rock music:
1. bad rock – mainstream – generally frivolous, pornographic, ‘shake-butt’, etc
2. evil rock – bad-ass, cruelty, no mercy, etc
3. good rock – which includes protest rock and any non-evil and non-frivolous songs created on the rock foundation: accented rhythm, heavy riffs, truthful singing. This is the type of rock we are interested to learn and play.


Children should learn music. The most appropriate repertoire for them is the medieval songs: http://intelligentmusicalchildren.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/beautiful-music-for-children,
and carefully selected rock: http://intelligentmusicalchildren.wordpress.com/2011/09/10/rock-music-covers/

More info about our kids band: http://childrenmedievalband.wordpress.com

 
 

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3 Responses to What kind of music is appropriate for my children?

  1. Leah says:

    I think your ideas about music are really interesting and I love that you take a historical view of music with your children. However, I don’t think you can necessarily expect all children to like or dislike the same music. You say that one ought to expect children to like “pop-rock;” however, this was entirely untrue in my sister’s and my case; when we were children we could not tolerate that kind of music and if we were in a place where rock-and-roll was playing in the background we would ask to leave. We did love baroque music (Bach collected some lovely easy keyboard pieces in the Anna Magdalena notebooks), but we also loved Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and others. I believe there are many romantic-era pieces children can relate to very easily. Just because your own children or yourself like certain kinds of music does not mean that others will have the same preferences.

  2. alpsteacher says:

    It is true, not all children are the same. And it’s wrong to enforce some unwanted style on a child with a precocious musical taste – like in your case – but these situations are quite rare.
    I insist on the medieval music because has been so grossly disregarded. And for a lot of kids it should be the perfect choice, especially at an earlier age.
    The classical music (post-baroque) is not proper for most preteen kids, only in rare cases.
    On the rock issue, there are many types of rock music, unfortunately too many kids get the wrong influence and choose to like mostly crap. Discernment and selectivity should be educated carefully.These are the main ideas trying to promote here.
    Thanks for your comment.

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