It doesn't matter what language you say it in, whether it be Turkish, Greek or Finnish, I truly believe that music has magical properties.. The type of music is also irrelevant, it just needs to be the type of music that appeals to you. Whether it's listening to Enya while you have a migraine (I know someone who does that) or listening to heavy metal while you study (I know people who did that too) there's something about music that resonates with everyone.
Think about your life. When a song comes on the radio many people have an association with an event, a person or something in their life that is traced back to that song. It could have been that first dance at your middle school dance or the popular song that summer you lived in the city or your wedding song or even that time on that college road trip when.. hmm, better leave that one out..
But you get the point. Music has that ability to somehow transcend the aural and manages to connect directly to your emotions. And that is what I am hoping happens with boys. At a very early age we wanted to make sure they listened to music. (You can listen to Jimi, but you can't hear him- White Men Can't Jump, anyone?) Ok, moving on..
They had the mobiles in their cribs when they were babies, until one of them tore it down and that was the end of that one. But we then discovered Rock A Bye Baby, which is rock music of all different bands (Foo Fighters, Nirvana, Green Day, U2, Zeppelin, Beatles, etc) all played like lullaby's. It is very cool, very soothing and they liked it a lot as did we. They still listen to it to this day.
But we also said to ourselves that we will not be beholden to the kids music when we're driving. I'll admit, we had the 40th Anniversary CD's of Sesame Street and we would listen to them in the car. The boys liked it and calmed them down on long road trips. It was also nostalgic for us hearing the songs that we remember from watching Sesame Street as kids. (See, it all comes back to music association) But when they were old enough, we started making them listen to our music. Hey, if we were going to be in the car with them for a while and they could keep themselves busy by looking out the window and playing games, we were going to listen to what we wanted. So they started enjoying some of our music.
I go old school and make them mix CD's. I have an ipod which I could create playlists, but it's not connecting in my car for some reason so it's just easier this way.. Plus, the boys look forward to when daddy creates a new CD..
I've made 4 or 5 of them. While there are still a few of the artists below that they haven't heard yet, here is a list of the artists that have been on these mix CD's:
Green Day, Foo Fighters, Dropkick Murphy's, John Cougar, AFI, Incubus, Dazz Band, Dave Matthews Band, Big & Rich, Of Monsters & Men, The Police, Beastie Boys, Airborne Toxic Event, The Beatles, Elvis, Cheap Trick, Fratellis, The Libertines, Imagine Dragons, Zeppelin, Toby Keith, The Black Crowes, Ben E. King, Joan Jett & The Blackhearts, Run DMC, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Tears For Fears, Clapton, The Lumineers, Metallica, Van Halen, Neon Trees, Puscifer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Twisted Sister, Queen, Black Keys, MGMT, ACDC, Nirvana, KISS, The Ramones, Bruno Mars, Blues Traveler, Lynyrd Skynyrd, REM, Talking Heads, Blur.
Now obviously some of these artists have a particular popular song that is more than likely the song I put on the CD. But others are not what you may think. It was not always the popular song for a well known band we played for them. We want them to appreciate the band/artist for their music and not just have them know the "popular, mainstream" song for which the band may be known. But the goal here, as you can see is to broaden their musical horizons with old, new, blues, rock, alternative, rap, 80s, punk and everything in between. Just giving them a taste of whatever we can find and see what they like and don't like. They are really taking it all in and want more. They're kind of like Neo with the training simulation in The Matrix.
My ultimate goal with this project? That "a-ha" moment. We've all seen those Top 100 "Fill in the Blank" shows on VH1 or some network that counts down the top 100 greatest rock songs or guitar riffs, etc. There's invariably one critic or artist that says "I remember the first time I heard _____. I said to myself, what the hell is that?" I want at least one, if not both of my kids to have that kind of moment when they hear something.. Whether it be a guitar riff, a song or drum solo, it doesn't matter.. It will make it all worthwhile.
PS - It happened. With the Kraken. And Metallica. Is anyone really that surprised?