This afternoon, my daughter and her cousin were listening to music on YouTube. They were singing along and dancing and having a great time. It got me thinking about when I was her age and how I listened to music. It’s amazing how much things have changed.
There are two blatant changes. One is the formats she listens to. When I was her age, my choices were vinyl records or the radio. Everything my daughter listens to now is digital. We used to have physical copies of the music. I used to look at all the artwork and read all the liner notes and credits. Now she just has the music and video in the moment she’s listening.
The second big change is in the choices she has. There are millions of songs available to her for free online at any time. We were stuck with whatever the radio stations happened to be playing. For me, there were two pop stations, four classic rock stations, and an oldies station. In other words, we didn’t have a lot of choices or a lot of variety.
There are a bunch of other changes. For example, currently music is all about singles. When I was young, albums were more important. Things like that. All of these changes are kind of a mixed bag. Some are really good, some are really bad, and some can go either way depending on the situation.
One of the things I’ve struggled with as a parent is how to teach my daughter about music. It’s been such an important part of my life, so it’s something I really want to share with her. But, I don’t want to force it on her. It should be fun, not homework. And I don’t want her to just mirror my tastes. I want her to discover her own things and have her tastes develop organically.
I’m trying a best of both worlds approach with her. I’m encouraging her to use all of the modern tools available to her like YouTube, Spotify, Pandora, etc. But I’ve also been getting her physical albums (usually on vinyl). It’s kind of a weird mix. The trouble is I can’t tell if it’s working. And I won’t know until she’s older. I’m trying to hit the golden mean and I just have to keep hoping.