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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Tip: Start With Music You Like

If you want to get your children to listen to classical music, it is easiest to get them excited about what you are already excited about. Whether you have a long list of favorites or are an art music beginner yourself, here are three tips to help get your young people as excited as you are:

1) Make listening an activity

I know others may disagree with me, but I believe that to make art music more popular we have to get more used to listening to it exclusively, and not simply as background music. If your children are young, plan to listen for a short time each day (usually taking their age and doubling it will give you the amount of minutes you have), and call it "music time". Pull out an excerpt of one of your favorites and listen together.

While they are listening ask for their reaction. How does it make you feel? Can you clap the rhythm? Can you hum the melody? Be creative and you will be surprised how much they will have to say.

2) Create a music exchange

If your children are older, give them a copy of one of your favorites to listen to on their own. Then take every opportunity to talk about it--not in a way that makes it seem like a chore, but more like something you can both have in common. Identify the things you love, and ask them what they think about those things.

Before you know it, you will be able to participate in an exchange. They will start giving you music they enjoy, and you will have a better idea of what they enjoy. In order to make sure this is productive, be sure that you do not give them exclusively classical music. Find music that is of a more popular nature that you enjoy and talk about that too.

The more you attempt to arrive at their level, the more they will try to arrive at yours.

3) Spend more time discovering what you like

If your children do not enjoy what you like don't get discouraged! Look at it as an opportunity to find more music that is closer to what they enjoy that you like as well. The library is a wonderful resource. Take the time to get acquainted with your media librarian and start checking out one or two albums a week.

More than likely you will discover music you never thought you would be interested in, and your children will appreciate the effort you take to get to know them and their tastes better.

Tip: Start With Music You Like

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