“Only Interested People Are Interesting” ~ Jeff Cooper
One of the great points of conflict that has occurred in every American household since the invention of recorded music has been the tug of war over the media player of the time conducted by the parent and the teenager. Sometimes this infighting filters down among the children, just adding to the parent’s frustration.
I lucked into the solution one afternoon in the car when my 7-year-old kept insisting that she wanted to listen to a Disney CD instead of my fine selection of classic Rock & Roll. There we went back and forth. Louder and louder, and then it hit me.
“How would you like to hear a song about a DRAGON?” I asked.
“What dragon? You don’t have any songs about dragons,” was the challenge.
At that moment I knew I had won.
“I have to tell you about the dragon so you understand the song, OK?”
“This is a world famous dragon, and his name is Godzilla…”
So after a very brief description of His Awesomeness that is Godzilla, I cranked up the rock anthem by Blue Oyster Cult that celebrates the King of All Monsters.
After we listened to Godzilla a couple of times, the person in the booster seat asked, “What other songs do you have?” Game. Set. Match!
My house has never suffered from the dreaded Disney pop-tarts. Boy bands have never sounded a note. Hip-hop in all of its forms is anathema. Not because I say so. Because my daughter says so.
When the Mrs. was having trouble getting the daughter interested in classical music, I arranged for Santa Clause to deliver a few DVDs containing Bugs Bunny. Nothing like a good cartoon with a classical background score to hold a child’s interest. Now when we go to the symphony we see who can guess the toon first. The daughter plays violin in the orchestra now.
To date my now 14-year-old has been to multiple performances of the opera, musical theatre, symphony, and recently Alice Cooper, and Blue Oyster Cult.
By helping my kid discover the music I love, I managed to avoid the music I despise. You just have to tie your faves to something the kid is already interested in, and with a little encouragement the rest will take care of itself.