i think this is a conversation we've had here and there before, but i thought we might as well reprise it all in one place.
i try to get Famished Pete in front of speakers as much as possible. honestly, my classical and jazz aren't what they should be, but i know that's the best for him right now. at the same time, i try to mix in a bit more of the eclectic-though-hopefully-stimulating-and-baby-friendly, like joanna newsom, the decemberists, sufjan stevens, etc. for some reason, i've hesitated on pushing the straight rock/pop music until he gets a bit older, though i'll make exceptions for some of the classics. i've no real desire to feed him any of the straight childrens' music. i'm sure his mother and preschool will give him plenty of that without my help.
i guess the conversation i want to start here is the role of music in your children's lives, or perhaps the role it played in your own life as a child.
for my part, i've got total control right now, but as Pete grow up, he's obviously going to branch off on his own. i really don't want to push my tastes on him too much, but i still want to make sure he's not a fanboy of the next decade's linkin park's, nickelback's, or general grog of commercial crap. i'm sure it's going to be a fine balance.
my dad did a pretty good job with me, i think. he rarely pushed anything, though he gave some recommendations from time to time (i did pass on REO speedwagon). at the same time, he bit his tongue when a young joe occasionally brought home some god-awful crap. one of his best influences he had on me regarding that which was before my time, and i'll get into a little later why future generations could miss out on this, was his LP collection. it was down in the basement, and when i was a younger lad i would idly flip through it now and then. didn't really have much effect on me, though an interesting name or cover might inspire me try something out (like that plasmatics album my dad had for some reason; didn't take). then, i would hear a snippet of something or hear a band name and think, hey, dad's got that, and i would run home and pull it out. got into a lot of stuff i wouldn't have gotten into without that, which in turn lead me to many others i couldn't live without today.
after peckish jane's
repeated nagging request, i recently put my large CD collection in storage temporarily as space is at a premium right now (i've still got books of CDs lying around, but i like having the CDs themselves out). it made me think that, what with everything moving over that digital horizon, kids aren't really going to get that opportunity as LPs, cassettes, CDs, physical music you can hold starts to disappear. sure, if they hear a name or song, they can have it on their phones in about ten seconds, but i still think they'll be missing out on something.
(quick aside: i am so pissed iPods didn't exist in high school for me. i was one of those kids that carried a 100 CD book around with them everywhere they went. also, i didn't have a car in high school, so this metro transit warrior often had to shuffle around his backpack and perform CD transplants with the discman while hurriedly speed walking to catch the 5. dropped and scratched a good number of CDs that way. come to think of it, i'm pissed CD-Rs weren't around then either.)
i'm not going anywhere in particular with this, just trying to start a few points of conversation. listening to and playing music was a huge part of my life, and i want Pete to enjoy it the same way i do, without shoving it down his throat. what do you play for your kids? what has surprised you about what they respond to? what was that band that came along, woke you up, and set you on the path to good music (cliché, but nirvana)? how did you react when your kid came home with an alto sax in 4th grade?