Tuesday, April 10, 2012


I am lucky enough to live in an area where music is a big part of the local culture. Thankfully, we have had the luxury of exposing our children, (especially our youngest daughter) to live music, and many other forms of art and cultural settings. This type of extended education creates a whole person. Organized education does a good job of mentioning the highlights to kids over their years in school. However, what public schools do not offer is, a concentrated exposure to any single art.

 As parents, Mister and I try to supplement public school with our own travels and influences. It never fails that these excursions turn into an educational experience for the parents too. We take journeys and experience the rich American culture.

For a period of 10 years all of my children grew up listening to Mozart and Tchaikovsky. They may not have realized it at the time. Sometimes Mozart just isn't cool to teenagers. Instead, the soothing music played and created an atmosphere of calm during the hectic days of a family of six.

Then there is the folk side of things. Last summer we discovered Nora Jane Struthers on one of our camping trips. A genuine bluegrass festival exposed Aimee to such lively spirited performances. This type of extended music class interaction will stick with your child forever. At Christmas time, Say Darling Say made it's way into the music rotation for the season. There, right there in the kitchen, my daughters and I sang along with the unbelievable vocals of Nora Jane. Sharing one of those moments, one in which is never planned, will live forever.

Years ago, our oldest daughter became friends with a local rock band. Being as we live in Ohio, it's only inevitable that rock and roll is a part of our family. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is located within an hour from our home. So for the many years, my daughters and I have hummed along with the catchy tunes by
 Hey Monea! and know many of their songs by heart! If  it snows in Ohio, (and it always snows in Ohio) we are singing Caroline!!

NPR is another great way to expose your kids to a variety of music.

 When I'm feeling a little sassy, I will always listen to Grace Potter and The Nocturnals.

Broaden your music selections and you might be surprised how it can get the old neurons in your brain firing. Offer a variety of sounds to your children. Someday they will thank you for it!

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