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If your kids love music, then you also know it can be something good and sometimes a bad thing. In reality, when children show an interest in something like music, it should be encouraged. Music can be inspiring, but also it evokes creativity and independence in kids. Through the subtle influence music has on their lives, they learn to think in new and original ways. This is especially true for those kids who learn to play any musical instrument, form a band or seek to be a performance artist.
For parents of such wonderful and wild eyed children, there are ways to be supportive of their interest in music at home. Being in touch with their interests and offering ways to support their need to enjoy music to the fullest, can be done in several simple ways. Keep these in mind as your parental instincts want to become closer with your children into their teenage years. So here are 10 ways to bring parents and kids closer through the music they love to play loud.
Listen To What Your Kids Want
No matter what kind of parent you are, this is the big first step. Instead of being an older mature adult about music, learn to listen to what your kids think is cool. When the radio is on, let them choose the station. If they are streaming Pandora, let them set the algorithm and create stations for you. You might be surprised how much your tastes align to the newest music trends, either way become accustomed to what the children want to hear. It will do you good.
Go To Live Concerts Together
Remember that these suggestions are more about you as a parent, so start with a simple first step. Try attending some live concerts with your kids. They probably need a ride anyways, so why not offer to go to their favorite live concert with them. You will be assured of their safety as a chaperone and it will let your bond with them, but also experience new music as an adult. Your presence will be helpful and make you one of the coolest parents on the block for sure.
Watch Music Videos As A Family
Your children probably watch music videos all the time. Today it isn’t all about MTV or VH1, they are downloading things to watch from YouTube, Vimeo and Vevo. So next time they are gathered around the bandwidth receiver, take a few minutes to sit down and enjoy some music videos with them. You can make this a regular thing, as long as you don’t start dancing in front of the flat screen. Then you might be asked to leave.
Begin Making A Family Music Library
Your home might already have a music collection, but now that your kids can control the stereo, it’s time to let them choose selections to buy. Make your home music a collective effort, so that CD wall includes the artists from the past and current times. If your child has a CD they play every night in the bedroom, buy a second copy for the family music library. It will be a way to share with them and be reminded of them everyday.
Share Musical Downloads As A Family
If you don’t have an iPod or an MP3 player, you need to purchase one as a parent. That way you can learn to share music downloads and videos with your youngsters. Your kids are sure to already have their own favorite devices filled with thousands of songs at the ready. This is going to get you past your technological curve, which is a big step for some older music listeners. Downloading music will make you feel young again.
Play Music Video Games At Home
Your kids have a PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo Wii game system at home. See if they have Guitarhero or Rockband, which are games that let you play classic rock songs, kind of like a karaoke machine used to do. If they will let you play with them, it will be a short blast to the past for your music memories. Also this will serve to help get you over your technological curve, when it comes to modern music listening. Enjoy the ride, video games can be fun for everyone.
Let Your Kids Form A Garage Band
If you are lucky enough to have creative minded children, then let their music bring you together. Offer to be the host household for practicing and open it for them to house their local garage band. This means putting up with a bit of noise throughout the week, but it also will keep the kids closer to home. The band will love you for it and the neighbors are sure to hate you back. Letting your kids form a garage band is the ultimate way to bond with them through the power of music.
Encourage Your Kids To Take Lessons
Again, if your kids are musically inclined, it is important to encourage them. A very practical way of doing this is to pay for them to take music lessons. Whatever their choice of instrument, there are plenty of local private tutors and music stores with hired music teachers. The cost will be outweighed by the improvement of their playing skills. Also they will get to meet real musicians and get their input, which will put your mind at ease somewhat. Good influences are a parents’ best friend.
Invest In Musical Instruments To Play
Once your musical child has settled in on what instrument they want to play, take them to invest in a good one. This can wait until they are past the try it out phase, but is an important step towards their long term musical goals. That first guitar or bass will always be a formative memory about you as a parent, so take them around and shop for something they really like. Investing in musical instruments is like investing in your child’s future. Let them have a good working foundation from the start.
Learn To Play An Instrument Yourself
One last idea, if you are going to do all these things for your children, then why not pick up an instrument yourself. You might already play, but just haven’t picked a guitar up in years. You might have always wanted to learn, but were shy about doing it around other people. Well why not learn with the help of your kids, they can share new songs and ideas they are working on with you. They might even be able to teach you a think or two about rocking and rolling. In any case, learning to play an instrument will be just one more thing that brings you and your kids closer using the power of music.
Jessica Kane is a writer for SoundStage Direct, the number online source for the best vinyl records and turntables.