Kids interested in music

Submitted by mic on Thu, 07/02/2020 - 15:02

Want kids interested in music? Yes. Music is great. It entertains them (and me), gets them away from the TV, and hopefully makes them interested in playing an instrument. Playing helps them express, hopefully develops their brain, and gets them away from the TV for longer.

My kids are young through. No interest lasts more than 15 min in any day or more than a month in general.

But I am trying.

We tried a lot of instruments

I have many instruments: guitar(s), bass, piano, drums, a drum machine, and more. But having those around the house is not enough. They strum on the guitar, do arpeggios on the piano, and bang on the drums. But that didn't last long and was more fun for me than for them.

It turns out, one was interested in the violin and the other wanted simply to yell with a microphone. So now I have a violin.

All this is still going on, but less than I imagined. There is no direction, no focus, no attempt to create something new, no lasting recognizable melody. They cannot simply make up stuff, having listened to nothing. Also, the instruments are too complex. When you have no skills, it is hard to focus on something that produces nothing.

Advice, where one wasn't requested, was a net minus. "Here is a simple drum beat" doesn't work, when you have no interest in maintaining a simple drum beat.

We also went to the store

Who doesn't like presents? Unfortunately, after all the hours spent, I walked out with two kazoos and two skull-shaped shakers. The attention span on those was about two days.

We streamed audio

There is a lot of stuff out there – probably too much. I played many cool songs, until I figured out that my taste and my kids' tastes differ. They found half of the songs annoying. And vice versa. I find some of their songs annoying. But I am patient.

Either way, this exercise didn't stick. They still shake on some songs, but rarely think of putting those on.

We watched some videos

They find videos fascinating, but I have no guarantee that it is the music and not the picture. If the purpose is to get them away from the TV, then I have failed. And they cannot operate video streaming well enough on their own to pull the right video up.

All videos are not made equal. There is music after the 80s and there is music before the 80s (there is also some during the 80s, but not much). Videos before the 80s are not flashy enough to compete.

We talked about songs and their social commentary

You would think that I am joking, but I am not. As much as butts are shaking when songs come on, no song generated a lasting memory by itself. To avoid getting stuck with songs from Disney cartoons, I had to dig deeper.

So I did. Videos helped, cause, you know, a picture is worth a 1000 words. I played videos and explained songs about the poor and the rich, consumerism, emotional pain, and so on – to people at ages in the single digits. To be honest, I have no idea what half of the songs were really about, but it sounded plausible. At least the videos had the right stories.

In an hour, I had them writing down favorite songs, which were then played over and over for days. Who knew? We will now wait and see what happens when they figure out what these songs are really about.

authors: mic

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