How to Teach Your Child to Love Music (Tip #2)


All ten of us siblings singing old songs at a family reunion (2013). L to R: Matthew, Sharon, Monica, me, Joanna, Julia, Deborah, Becky, Jennifer, and Jonathan.

My dad has heard it all, it seems.

He grew up around mountain music that framed the lives of the people of the Appalachian mountains where he lived. As a child, he sat and listened to two of his uncles play who had formed a bluegrass band with two other friends. They called themselves “The Arizona Cowboys.” (I am not sure where the name originated, to be honest. Maybe I should do more research on that.) They even played on the radio, which was probably akin to recording a CD in that era.

I remember hearing my dad talk about the Carter family. He knew many folk songs and would often play them on his mandolin. He loved Chet Atkins’s guitar picking and learned a lot of Chet’s arrangements. At the same time, he admired Andres Segovia, once the world’s premiere classical guitarist. I fell asleep many a night hearing him play beautiful, intricate arrangements from both musicians.

My Dad remembers when rock and roll came on the scene in the 1960s. That might sound odd to some of us who cannot imagine a world without rock and roll, but there actually was a day when such a thing did not exist (at least in the form we know today).

All of my life, I heard music that carried a unique sound. The music I listened to was probably nothing like the average child heard. Dad loved pure melodies, tight harmony, clear instrumentation. He taught us music that sounded different, but the difference was not necessarily in the harmonies used, nor was it confined only to acoustic instruments or wind instruments. Rather, it was in the way the music was played or presented.

I had a steady diet of godly music and grew to love the sound. Because he saw how rock and roll and other forms of music affected our country, my Dad was cautious about the kind of music we listened to at home. He especially watched for the rhythms and timing of songs and how that played on our emotions.

I will not try to define the term godly music. But godly music is recognizable when it’s played, and the child of God can tell the difference deep inside.

One of the best things I believe any parent could teach their child about music is to learn to recognize music that feeds the soul and spirit rather than the body.

The parent who teaches their child how to love good and godly music will have taught them to feed their soul on deeper, more satisfying music instead of anything the world offers. The world offers music based on their own desires and whims and emotions.

I have no problem with wanting to feel good about the songs I listen to. I am not suggesting that your music selection has to be sober and somber. Music has tremendous power to lift us up, and we all need consoling in this crazy life.

But the wise parent will watch the kind of music that enters their home and influences their child. Rather than feeding on culturally saturated music, take a note from an 83-year-old musical veteran.

Expose your child to not only good music, expose them to godly music.


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