Musical Magic: Getting Youngsters Exposed to Different Genres

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I've been listening to music my entire life. Even in the womb my mom listened to music. And since then, I have not stopped. While I enjoy music that became popular in my generation that is popular, I also enjoy music people would not expect me to listen to or know. And that's because I've lived life with ears wide open.

However, as generational gaps widen and radio stations become more narrow in focus it can be harder to introduce young children and teens to music without feeling like you are taking them to the dentist. But it is quite easy to expose kids and teens to different types of music, all you have to do is be creative.

This hub will not be the typical tactics of trying to force feed a genre to someone but creative ways to expose people to different types of music.

Cover Story

As we all know cover songs have been popular throughout the years and in a lot of ways it helps to spark interest in songs of a past generation. As many of us know, one of the most covered acts in the past half century was the Beatles. However, as a recent trending topic on Twitter shows, a lot of people under the age of twenty have no idea about John, Paul, George and Ringo.

So in order to spark interest in the fab four or any act, I would suggest parents and other relatives buying some cover albums or if you have access to internet you can stream songs from online radio by cover artists or if you feel brave enough even try one of those cover group albums they sell on iTunes like the Countdown Singers. And while some of these covers may become part of your playlist, it will definitely pique interest in the original version. And this not only goes for older songs, newer song covers are interesting too. I remember a few years ago hearing a Poison cover of "SexyBack" and being very intrigued.

Not that this will always happen, but somehow when you tell someone something is a cover, they get a little more interested in trying to see how it was originally recorded. And if not, at least you can say you exposed to something a little different.

In Concert

One of my favorite ways to fall in love with music is to go to a concert. I have not been able to go to one as of late but I still get to experience great music by watching concerts on YouTube, television and on DVD. And in some ways that's better than going to a concert. You don't have to worry about foul language, long lines, and expensive refreshments. You can stop and go at your own pace and my favorite thing has to be skipping the filler tracks every musician or band inevitably has.

And for parents and other relatives looking to expose your youth to great music, it makes it that much more accessible than say changing the radio dial. The only thing about current concerts are that ticket prices are really ridiculous but if you know where to look you can win free tickets through your radio station and television station. And sometimes if you contact the chamber of commerce they can give you a group package for tickets.

However if you are like me, you can stalk YouTube long enough and find great concert clips of shows you wanted to see or have on your wish list. The best thing about hearing a live version of a song is that you remember why you fell in love with the song. And hearing an artist strip down the song to it's roots evokes even more powerful emotion.

I would not suggest taking young children to concerts simply because it is a long event with few breaks and lots of sitting or standing and for anyone that gets tiring. If you have a teen who you know is into a lot of music then it is definitely worth a Spring Break trip or a long weekend journey to see your favorite group.

Another way to connect different genres to the youth in your life is to share your concert memories. To me the more you share something with someone the more treasured it becomes to them.

Television Tunes

One of my favorite ways as a kid to find and listen to new music as a kid was to watch those Time Life CD commercials and listen to two second clips of oldies from back in the day. While some were good and some were bad, they all made an imprint on me. Unfortunately, those commercials which were once one minute have become thirty minute infomercials. And unless you have the patience to listen to a monotonous sales pitch, you can find some great songs on television by tuning in.

Some of my favorite shows have really great music to support the themes and situations of what's happening. And while some shows focus on booking the latest indie acts, others highlight what's popular. And really great shows know how to cater to the iTunes savvy generation that is all about playlists and shuffles.

I especially like to watch commercials with creative concepts like during the Super Bowl and try to Google the song that I am interested in. Lately, I've been fascinated by the Fun featuring Janelle Monae song "We Are Young." It was smartly promoted in the Chevy commercial and soon became viral after an episode of Glee, which bring me to my next point.

Before you diss a show like Glee, it is actually helping the music industry by putting unique twists on current top 40 fare for older adults as well as introducing young tweens and teens to older artists. Regardless what you think of the show in terms of writing or character development, the music has been consistently intriguing. Some of my favorite covers featured have been "Jump" (Van Halen) and "Marry You" (Bruno Mars).

Other shows that I watch regularly have creative ways of featuring music. For instance, Psych, a show that I have constantly featured in my hubs is also very good at introducing music through their Psych Outs or bloopers. Another show that I love, The Wonder Years also features great music from my parents' generation. So if you hunt long enough you will find music that moves you.

Music is Fun

No matter how you decide to introduce kids to different types of music, you should always remember that music is personal and universal. Not everyone loves the same types of music and that's okay.

But for children and young teens, they have to find out in their own unique way how to fall in love with music. It may be the music of their generation, music of generations past or some combination of all types of music.

It's all about having a good time!

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Comments 38 comments

sam209 profile image

sam209 4 years ago

It took me years, but I got coworkers to appreciate some of the rock artist that I love!

I can also remember introducing my young cousin to the O'Jays and Frankie Beverly and Maze! Gerald Levert was also apart of that show and our seats were so good, that when Gerald left the stage to walk around the arena floor, my cousin got to touch him. Anytime she hears a Gerald song, she'll probably remember that show!

During the set of Maze, my little cousin really appreciated the soulful tunes and the crowd participation! Incidentally that was the first concert she had ever attended so I'm willing to bet she'll remember it always!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

That's a great story, Sam209. I think people just have to be eased into things to appreciate them. My college friends got into a lot of stuff because of me and I didn't force them into it but it just was the nature of our relationship, that we had things in common and things not in common but we came to appreciate them from each other. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

I turned my daughters on to pop/country/rap and they have done the same for me. I turned more friends and family on to country than I ever would have imagined.

Now for Faith, she likes all types of music because she gets to hear different genres from different family members. Music is love!:)


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and answering my question, Alecia! I enjoyed reading your hub.


Rosalinem profile image

Rosalinem 4 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

I liked reading about this and for sure music keeps changing so quickly and its amazing what one can stumble upon. Well written. voted it up and interesting


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Sunshine,

I've done the same with family and friends, at least with those who like to hear different kinds of music.

I agree, it's easier for younger kids to be more accepting if they're exposed to different genres from the start. And music is always love. Thanks for commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi AliciaC,

I am glad you enjoyed my answer. Thank you for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Rosalinem,

I agree music keeps changing so fast that it's hard to keep up but if you keep listening and tuning in to others, it makes it that much easier. Thank you for coming by and commenting!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

I think the tastes of young kids are far wider than we realize, and exposing them to different music, instead of just kiddie music, is one way to broaden those tastes. Exposing them to live music is ideal, though some concerts might be too raucous for them. Voting this Up and Interesting.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

I think that our music taste changes over time. I listened to all the trends growing up and noticed my music preferences changed gradually to jazz and classical. Always have preferred gospel but now it also comes in jazz options! Music is great therapy. Enjoyed your hub topic.


Jennifer Essary profile image

Jennifer Essary 4 years ago from Idaho

I love music and I listen to most of it with the exception of the death metal of course. Growing up my mom listened to country and my dad listened to Chuck Mangione. I still remember saving my money so I could buy Cool and The Gang and Michael Jackson's Thriller. To this day I still think the 90's had some of the best hip hop and shared some of the best rock n' roll with the 80's. Today I love the chill I get when someone can really sing like Andrea Bocelli, Josh Groban, or Straight No Chaser. I also love the lyrics that make you reflect on the world around you such as Eminem and Dave Matthews. Then there are the moments when I simply want to unwind with Miles Davis, Nora Jones, and my recent favorite Tony Bennett Duets. Needless to say my toddler is exposed to a wide variety of music. As he grows I want variety to be a common theme in all areas of his life: food, sports, books, culture, people, and religion. Wonderful Hub on what I feel is an important topic. Voted up, awesome, and useful.


walkc 4 years ago from All Over

Sunshine , That's great that you have expose them to different types of music !


tarajeyaram profile image

tarajeyaram 4 years ago from Wonderland

Music is wonderful. Alecia - you wrote a wonderful hub about exposing young people to different genres. Music can be healing and getting a taste of different genres can be engaging. I like all kinds of music. Keep up the good work.


MarshFish profile image

MarshFish 4 years ago

Excellent hub,Alecia. I enjoyed reading it.

Marshall


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Alocsin,

I agree I think kids deserve not to be spoon fed in music or food. Other thins are a little more hit or miss, but I think live music is great but concerts are iffy with younger kids. Thanks for coming by and commenting.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Teaches12345,

I think it changes but at the same time I think we still are influenced by what we grew up with. I think music is just as personal as our taste in food or anything else. It's all about trial and error. Thanks for coming by and commenting.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Jennifer,

I agree music is something that we all have experienced in so many ways and giving kids enough options is key. I agree that kids need to have good exposure when they're younger so they can make great decisions when they're older. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Walkc,

Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

I agree music is definitely healing tarajeyaram. Thank you for coming by and commenting!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

I am glad you enjoyed reading the hub MarshFish. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Jools99 profile image

Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

Alecia, great hub. My mother exposed me to The Beatles etc from an early age and my dad used to sit me down to listen to Harry Nillson, Sergio Mendes and Brasil 66, Laura Nyro, 5th Dimension, 4 Tops, Smoky Robinson, reggae and The Carpenters (he had eclectic tastes) but it worked on me, I have eclectic tastes and through me, so does my daughter. Music is a major part of my life and I have my parents to thank for that.

My idea of heaven would be me with my Grado headphones on listening to the Cocteau Twins....wonderful!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Jools99,

I think exposing people to different types of music helps develop insight into life around the world. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


icountthetimes 4 years ago

Great article. People are definitely missing out if they limit the types of music they listen to. In my experience almost everything thinks they have diverse listening tastes, but in reality few do.

I was lucky to be around many types of music as a child and this, I feel, has benefited me in terms of the types of music I can appreciate and am open to.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Icountthetimes,

I think the word diverse is subjective for many of us but I agree when you listen to different kinds of music it opens you up to different things! Thanks for coming by and commenting!


tundexman profile image

tundexman 4 years ago from lagos

i love it too


ericsomething profile image

ericsomething 4 years ago from Charleston, SC and Riverside, CA

Alecia, this struck a chord (pun intended) with me. I remain indebted to my ex-wife because she turned me on to country, which served as a gateway drug to bluegrass. But I returned the favor by turning her on to the blues and some forms of jazz. While the jury is still out on whether she digs John Coltrane yet, it's nice to see we have both influenced one another to expand our horizons.

Thank you for your Hub. While I'm probably past the age where I can influence youngsters, I can still introduce folks to some of the giants. Rahsaan Roland Kirk, anyone?


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Ericsomething,

I don't think you can stop influencing kids. If anything, it's easier for kids to listen to figures who aren't as old as their parents. I agree that listening to music can open new worlds for everyone. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


vparker profile image

vparker 4 years ago from From Mars

A lot of young people do listen to different genres of music. For example just go to google and type in "Hipster" or "Black Hipster" (for Black kids into Indie music).

I have always been into different genre's of music ever since I was a child; my parents however I rarely listen to other forms of music.


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Vparker,

I agree that people have been into different genres of music and it is natural for kids but I believe exposure is key as well. Thanks for coming by and commenting!


Starmom41 4 years ago

I've always enjoyed a wide range of music, so it wasn't really a surprise when my kids did the same.

This is a cool hub!!!


GoForTheJuggler profile image

GoForTheJuggler 4 years ago from Texas

Thank God for musicians that cover each other's work. I've stumbled on to a lot of good music this way. Voted up and across!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks Starmom41!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 4 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Thanks GoForTheJuggler! I agree covers are a good way to learn about other artists.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

I think that it's important to expose kids to music when they are young, as you've so rightly put!! And shows with music in them is a simple and accessible way to do it. Thanks for sharing.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

I used to say to my son, I have no idea where you went wrong! lol! he listened to r n b and rap, I am a heavy metal dude! lol! great read Alecia, and happy birthday!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Michelle,

Thanks as always!


Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 3 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina Author

Hi Nell Rose,

Haha, different strokes for different folks! Thanks for the birthday wish :0!


Gabriela 23 months ago

Articles like these put the consumer in the driver seat-very imnotrapt.

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