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OT:Introducing old rock'n'roll to a 15 year old...

Rod S

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I didn't know how else to word the topic...


My cousin came to me with a request, since I'm fairly well rounded music wise and have a big CD collection (and broadband :P). She is complaining that her 15 year old kid only listens to 'crap' (her words) and wanted to get her to listen to some of the stuff she and her brother used to listen to so she can have develop a more diverse musical taste. She asked me to round up a few CDs for her daughter to listen to.


For reference, I'm 35, she's 43 and her brother is 45. I'm closer to their age than her daughter's, so I'm wondering her receptivity to stuff her parents listed to... :)


Ironically, it was her brother that got me introduced to a lot of 60-70s material I wasn't exposed to at the time - when I was about 15 he kept lending me albums to listen to - ELP, Deep Purple, Queen, Status Quo, Yes, Journey, etc... - and I'm grateful for that. I was the exception with my friends as far as the stuff I was listening to. I liked and still like a lot the 80s stuff, but in retrospect his actions meant a big deal for me in terms of my music tastes and appreciation.


Enough of the background info. So I'm going through my CDs and wondering what to do.


Queen... Police... Asia... Dire Straits... Boston.. Genesis.... Elton John... Journey ... Marillion ... Peter Gabriel... Tears for Fears.


Or maybe I should go through some newer stuff? The problem I'm a bit stuck in the past, I'm one of those people that thinks the classic stuff is better, and my introduction to new material usually end up being new introduction to old material.. LOL... Sometimes I feel my musical journey ended somewhere in 1990.


What would you do?

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Two things:


1. At 15 years old, it's too late now, but when my daughters were in the crib, I'd put on a cassette tape at bedtime. It usually wasn't wild and crazy stuff, but it could have been anything.


It worked. One of them was 1st chair clarinet in her HS orchestra. The other is currently principal violist.


2. I play my old music all the time... in the car, in the studio, getting ready for work. They can't help but hear it. Some of it they like. Some of it gets absorbed just because it's around.


3. There are a couple of key sentences in your post, Rod. This is the first one that caught my eye:


so I'm wondering her receptivity to stuff her parents listed to...


That's a tough call.


Here's the other one:


...when I was about 15 he kept lending me albums to listen to - ELP, Deep Purple, Queen, Status Quo, Yes, Journey, etc... - and I'm grateful for that.


It would be good if someone could do the same for your cousin's 15 year old daughter. You know - sit down and say, "I think this (one) CD is great. It was one of my favorites and you may enjoy it to. Will you give it a listen and let me know what you think?"


If she is receptive to it, then you can move on to another CD that is similar. If not, you may want to try something different. The point is, I'd try not to overwhelm her by giving her ten CDs and saying, "Hey. These worked for me. I'm sure you'll like them."


You've got to get her to want to give them a proper listen. And if you find something that works, don't venture too far from it at first.


4. Patience. It's not going to happen overnight.


Honestly, I'm not too worried that my daughters don't listen to the music I enjoy. I believe that I've been successful in that they simply enjoy music.


My youngest daughter loves bluegrass. I think bluegrass is fine, but it's not at the tip-top of my favorites list. But it's very cool that she's into it. I figure she's showing her individuality. She's got a LOT of CDs.


When I was a mere lad, and haircuts were a quarter, :rolleyes: I listened to the collections of my older brothers and sister. At that time R&B was huge. To this day, I still love Motown and that genre. Love it.


But my parents weren't huge music lovers - and still aren't. Well, not enough to really support my interest and help it grow.


So, if your cousin's 15 year old daughter has someone (you) who will take an interest in asking what music she likes now, and helping her figure out what she might like, there's really no better gift you can give her.


That's cool that you will help her out, Rod.












"Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent." - Victor Hugo
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Every generation needs its own music. The crap we listended to was no less/more crappier than the crap they're listening to. Music is one aspect of the ritual of the child becoming an adult. I don't see the point in getting involved. Why shove your stuff down their throats. On the other hand, don't become one of those goon parents who tries to be hip and listens to their teenagers music.


If the kid is a musician they might, over time, open up to other music.



Father of four.

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Tom and Busch offer some great thoughts here. I particularly like Tom's point that having his daughters enjoy music is more important that having them enjoy his kind of music. Totally agree! :thu:


I do believe that early exposure is a key, but ultimately kids will decide what they like and don't like. To me, perhaps the most question to get an answer to is whether your cousin's kid is listening to "crap" because she doesn't know any better or because it's popular and it's what her friends are listening to. If there's no real musical appreciation -- i.e., if her attitude is, "Well, I like this because I hear it all the time on the radio, see it on MTV, and the lead singer's cute!" -- then I wouldn't necessarily give up the fight, but you've got a longer road ahead of you. If, however, it's just a matter of giving exposure to "better" music, then I think the approach of giving one or two CDs to get some early traction is a good one.


As to what those CDs should be, that depends on what musical tastes you're trying to impart to this girl. One approach may be to figure out what she's listening to today and then select the older band(s) that influenced those new artists, since everything today is incredibly derivative of an earlier period in music.


For example, if she likes "pop-punk" like Fall Out Boy (which is "crap" to me), then give her some CDs by The Jam, The Clash, or The Buzzcocks -- the bands that actually created that sound (and did it with authenticity!). :cool: If she likes Nickelback (severe "crap," IMO), then give her some records by Sabbath, Deep Purple, or even Soundgarden.


If, however, she's diggin' on Justin Timberlake, Gwen Stefani, and Fergie, well then I'm sorry. There may be no help for this girl. :grin:


My two cents,


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it is not that hard as it looks. My 15 year old son was pretty much surprised when I showed him that many melodies in songs he is listening to are stolen from "my time" music. This way I got him into listening to my stuff too, and now he says that choruses in classic rock are great...but lyrics and verses sucks... :grin:
♫♫♫ motif XS6, RD700GX
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I'm not a father, but to me, the worst thing you could do would be to start a 'battle of genres' in music. Many grownups tend to forget that during adolescence, music is often linked to many other things, like friends, trends, and the whole environment - so a discussion about music per se would be out of center.


If you feel that music is important to this kid, the first thing I'd do would be to show interest in the music he's listening to, then gradually introduce him to things he might not know. Your enthusiasm could be contagious, and it could help him to familiarize with more complex kinds of music.

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At least once a month, my 14 year old daughter is listening to some lame remake of a classic song, whereupon I have a chance to say,


"Hey, check out the original version!"


I've introduced my daughters to Supremes, Beatles, Led Zep, Queen, Chicago and more this way.



"I keep wanting to like it's sound, but every demo seems to demonstrate that it has the earth-shaking punch and peerless sonics of the Roland Gaia. " - Tusker


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Dammit who is the parent and one in control here? I say put that kid in his/her place and tell him/her this is the way it is. As parents you are given the power of a dictator over a kid, I say use it. ;)



What I would really do is along the same lines discussed by mate stubb. I wouldn't force the issue though. Take the time to do this when the kid is open to it and see what they think. I also think its a fair trade off to listen to their music as well no matter how painful it maybe. Maybe you both can then compare songs and begin a dialog.

Begin the day with a friendly voice A companion, unobtrusive

- Rush

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Well, the point was not to force her to anything, nor that whatever she listens to needs to be 'replaced' by better music. I guess I wasn't expecting the adverse reaction to what I posted....


My cousin's (her mom) attitude is not as extreme as my post seemed - she really just wants her kid exposed to other stuff - which I personally don't find a problem with it, and encourage. When I mentioned that she thought the music was 'crap' was a subtle attempt at some humour... Oh well.. :S


I always say that about 80s music - you may think it sucks, but it's MY music, it's the stuff I listed to as an adolescent, and it bring back great memories. Period.


Which HOWEVER did not prevent me from getting introduced to other stuff at that time, and liking it. There was never a battle of genres. The cover band I played in HS played Eric Clapton, Led Zeppelin, Journey, Beatles - as well as 80s stuff like Simple Minds, Dire Straits (their 80s stuff), and so forth. At night I went to a night club and listed to Erasure, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys, and so forth... One big happy family.


I guess I don't see things as polarized as some people here do, apparently.


Korg Kronos X73 / ARP Odyssey / Motif ES Rack / Roland D-05 / JP-08 / SE-05 / Jupiter Xm / Novation Mininova / NL2X / Waldorf Pulse II


American Deluxe P-Bass, Yamaha RBX760

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As mentioned above, people find their own music. Those tastes are constantly evolving over time. The kid who likes rock today might be a jazz buff tomorrow.


It is fine to introduce your cousin to tunes you think are hip. However, do not waste an ounce of time discrediting what she likes. She might do that eventually too. ;):cool:





"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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I have two nephews, age 8 and 10. They are starting to get into music, the younger one in particular is fascinated by drums. So my brother (who is also the bassist in my band) tried to turn him on to Cream and Ginger Baker. Unfortunately he played him the reunion DVD. My nephew saw three "old" guys on stage and immediately proclaimed that they sucked(he doesn't have this issue with the Beatles 'cause they are young on the CD artwork) Anyway we made a live recording of our band at practice one week and sent it to the guys so they could hear us. When we asked them what they thought he told us that, quote: "you guys are better than Cream, but not as good as Three Day's Grace." Priceless.


I'm going to get him some drums for his birthday(my sister will hate me). Every generation needs it's own music. What's most important IMO is to encourage an appreciation for music in general. If they love music it will enrich their lives, and in time they will find their way to the good stuff.



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My youngest daughter is 16, and listens to Green Day, Godsmack, et al, and has taken a recent liking to Pat Benetar, Queen, Joan Jett, Jethro Tull, Led Zep, she really loves the Who, Def Leppard, etc. I never forced anything on her, she would listen to my CDs when we were together, either in my studio or in my truck, just as I listen to her CDs when she is driving, or we are in her room talking. She still has her newer bands that she likes, and has introduced me to some that I really enjoy, so turn about is fair play, as the saying goes. I wouldn't have given these bands a first listen much less a real fair shake.

She is getting ready to finish her debut CD (when I get home from Iraq), and her style is more influenced by Evanescance, Flyleaf, and now Pat Benetar. It's getting really exciting. She is developing her own musical identity just as so many of us did - we take the influences we are exposed to and incorporate them into our musical language, and the end result is "our sound".


I really appreciate that my 2 daughters have unique styles they listen to, and have developed their own identities, and aren't afraid that the other will mock or sneer. We have a wide variety of music in the house, and there is a place for all of it, after all, it's music.



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