FMD 8-25-17: Teaching Kids About Music

Over the last few weeks I've had the chance to expose my kids to a good amount of music that they hadn't ever (or at least regularly) heard before. For our trip I burned some CDs (because no ipod/smart phone... a topic for a different forum). One an Oldies Mix and one a Weird Al mix (because fun!). The WGOM was instructive a ways back on the Oldies Mix, so thanks all for that.

I've also had my kids plinking away on the piano a little bit lately. I don't actually know how to play myself, but I know enough about chords and the like that I can point them in a direction here or there. I'm hoping to get Aquinas into piano lessons before too long, but there aren't too many people teaching out our way these days.

Anyway, it's been fun to watch the kids learning about music, making requests about new things, experimenting on the piano, etc. I'm often surprised by what clicks with them, and what they're interested in exploring further.

I'd love to hear more parents' "teaching their kids music" stuff. What should I be throwing their way? What about some of our more seasoned parents... did your kids take after your music tastes? Butt heads? Etc. So there's our topic for the day: teaching kids about music.

13 thoughts on “FMD 8-25-17: Teaching Kids About Music”

  1. I think what got me interested in music is simply that I heard a lot of it growing up. I took piano lessons, but I wouldn't say they gave me a love of music (I got really good at coming up with excuses to avoid practicing). But music was playing on the radio a lot when I was growing up, and we used the record player often as well. I came to appreciate the stuff my parents listened to, and eventually developed my own musical tastes. But I think the key to getting interested in music was simply hearing a lot of it.

  2. My kids aren't quite old enough to have really developed a particular taste in music, but, alas, it is looking increasingly less likely they will follow in my recommendations.

    1. I don't think I even want my kids to have my tastes (though when they rebel as they age, it'll be hard for them to do so through music... I can find something to like in just about every genre, even vapid pop).

  3. My 18 year old son is into mostly classic rock like Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Metallica. I was always more alternative rock. Somehow he also likes country music which I don't like much of. We overlap in a lot of music, so we do have some fun conversations and arguments. My 16 year old girl is into newer pop... yuck! They are both in orchestra, so they do have an appreciation for classical music. In the end, I think their musical tastes were definitely impacted by their friend groups more than their parents.

    I think we started orchestra in 3rd or 4th grade. Cello and Viola. We have a nice keyboard at home and they both can play some self-taught piano. Both are way more talented in music than either of us parents.

  4. One thing I do is look for what they do show an interest in and try to follow up with more from my collection that might be in that vein.

    CER likes sweeping movie-soundtrack type stuff, so she's the one that I played a lot of Björk for.
    HPR likes "rock-out guitars" and story-songs, so I've played him Soundgarden, "Edmund Fitzgerald", and "Liberty Valence". I should probably play him more Cash.
    Both have found mutual ground in Anime themes, with Linked Horizon's opening themes for Attack on Titan being top faves.

    AJR has a dark, goth-like streak, so I've tried playing her Zola Jesus and Einstürzende Neubauten.
    LBR... I don't know. Her "favorite song" is "Strawberry Blonde" by Mitski, but she's the only one that requests "Black Ships Ate the Sky" by Current 93. At the same time, she got a nightmare from Einstürzende Neubauten's "Total Eclipse of the Sun"*, which is totally based on the sound as the lyrics aren't particularly scary.

    *Nothing like your cute and peppy 5-year-old singing "I would have never buried my friends / and prayed for their souls" or "Who will deliver me from myself?" in the style of David Tibet. I'm surprised my wife hasn't tried to ban me from playing any music to the kids.

    1. So much of the kids' tastes seems wrapped up in songs from movies and TV shows. Our family top 40 is probably (in no order):
      1. Mitski "Strawberry Blonde"
      2. Current 93 "Black Ships Ate the Sky"
      3. Gene Pitney "Liberty Valence"
      4. Gordon Lightfoot "Edmund Fitzgerald"
      5. SIA "Cheap Thrills"
      6. Sylvan Esso "HSKT"
      7. OK Go "Upside Down and Inside Out"
      8. that Shakira song from "Zootopia"
      9-10. Opening themes from "Attack on Titan"
      11-15. Several Opening and closing themes from "Fullmetal Alchemist" and "FA: Brotherhood"
      16-23. The OST from "Home"
      24-29. The OST from "Frozen"
      30-36. The OST from "Moana"
      37-39. Some songs from "Kidz Bop" like "Rise" (I've never heard the original)
      40. Taylor Swift "Shake it Off" (Which is also from the movie "Sing!" and Kidz Bop)

  5. I still do random tens!
    1. Aphex Twin “Prep Gwarlek 3B” drukQs
    2. Plastikman “Korridor” Artifakts (BC)
    3. Björk “Cover Me” Post
    4. Kevin Gunn “Down by Banjo Bore” Buried Country: The Story of Aboriginal Country
    5. The KLF “Make It Rain” The White Room

    6. Autechre “C/Pach” Tri Repetae++
    7. Coil “Amber Rain” The Ape of Naples
    8. Alice Coltrane “A Love Supreme” Red Hot on Impulse!
    9. Einstürzende Neubauten “Nnnaaammm (The Dark Welcome Mix by Darkus)” Ende Neu Remixes
    T. Roger Knox and the Pine Valley Cosmonauts “Warrior in Chains” Stranger in My Land


    B. I just learned that this existed: remixes of DEATH MAGIC. I've only listened to a bit... but this remix is pretty good. I've never played DM for the kids, because I think it's nihilistically amoral point-of-view is too enticingly expressed. Well, Purity Ring puts a candy coating on that.

  6. I think we're looking at two different things being taught here: musical listening by kids, and musical performance (either instrumental or choral) by kids.

    A couple years ago I took it on myself to use the summer to learn solfege hand signs, since some of the kids in choir had learned them. It was a good exercise, but I'm nowhere proficient with them.


    01. “When The City Lights Dim” – Cold SpecksI Predict A Graceful Explosion
    02. “Tired Tears, Awake Fears” – Visionist Safe
    03. “ECOOJAMC1” – Oneohtrix Point NeverGarden Of Delete
    04. “Voice In Headphones” – Mount Eerie With Julie Doiron And Fred SquireLost Wisdom
    05. “Daddy Rollin’ Stone” – Johnny ThundersSo Alone
    06. “For The Rabbits” – Caitlin RoseOwn Side Now
    07. “Rhythm (Devoted To The Art Of Moving Butts)” – A Tribe Called QuestPeople’s Instinctive Travels And The Paths Of Rhythm
    08. “Cheese Cake” – Dexter GordonGo!
    09. “Work” – Perfect Pussy – Say Yes To Love
    10. “Wishin’ And Hopin’” – Ani DiFrancoMy Best Friend’s Wedding OST


  8. 1. “Fire in the Hole/Arrow to the Action” P.O.S We Don’t Even Live Here
    2. “Sunstroke” La Luz It’s Alive
    3. “Gold Lion” Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones
    4. “Shut Up Kiss Me” Angel Olsen My Woman
    5. “Es-So” TUnE-YArDs w h o k i l l
    6. “Into the Spin” Dessa A Badly Broken Code
    7. “Have You in My Wilderness” Julia Holter Have You in My Wilderness
    8. “Everything Is Borrowed” The Streets Everything Is Borrowed
    9. “In My Back” The Tiny Close Enough
    T. “Superhero” Ani Difranco Dilate

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