Its only lately that I have really appreciated the benefits that I enjoyed as a result of growing up in a musical family. My mother played piano at home and my dad was an accomplished jazz guitarist.
Having children of my own I can see how they have benefited from having access to guitars and other musical instruments as they’ve grown up. They’ve never been pushed toward any particular instrument or forced to attend piano or violin lessons. Instead they’ve been allowed to develop their own interest, just as I was, and this approach has clearly been good for them.
Our youngest son has shown no interest in making music whatsoever. He is a very keen sportsman, loves football and online gaming. However his older brother was bashing out rhythms on a toy drum kit from about the age of three. By the time he was seven he was easily capable of accompanying my rock and roll guitar playing on his child size drum kit.
My daughter has a particularly rebellious personality and she has always liked to challenge both her mother and me, ever since she was a toddler. However, in recent years she too has begun to take a keen interest in music but for her this involves DJing and playing her music so loud that it prompts our neighbours to ask if it can be turned down. Her interest in DJ equipment and modern dance music has led to her developing skills in music production using computers and it’s looking like she will progress to a music technology course at college.
I think that parental influence is a significant factor in the developing interests of our children. We’ve tried to encourage them to be independent while ensuring that boundaries are clearly defined. Their independence and self reliance is becoming increasingly apparent as they grow toward adulthood. We just wish that our daughter would play her dance music a little more quietly and stop upsetting our neighbours.