Children will naturally grow to value the things that are truly valued in the home. When I was a child, my dad was a big fan of the San Francisco Giants. We would talk about the Giants, go to games together, and so naturally I became an avid Giants fan—even though we lived in Dallas, home of the Texas Rangers! My father’s genuine and sincere interest in the Giants was simply contagious to me. Part of our “family culture” was cheering on the Giants.
Likewise, we can establish a life-long love of music in our children if we create a musical culture in the home. This begins with developing your own genuine interest in good music. Even if you don’t play an instrument, you can develop and demonstrate your love of good music by listening to it, singing along with it, dancing to it, learning about it, and talking about it. This goes for much more than exclusively “classical” music—it’s wonderful to enjoy high-quality music of many styles.
If you do play an instrument, don’t let it sit in your closet gathering dust. Turn off the TV or computer during your free-time, and pull out your instrument. Have some fun learning to play a new song or revive an old song you used to play. When children see you enjoying music, they too will be drawn to it and will inevitably develop a life-long love of music, as well as a stronger motivation to practice their instrument so they can have as much fun as mom and dad!
Culture and values can never be imposed—they can only be shared. Do you remember the music your parents used to like to listen to or songs they used to sing? Often the things we experience in childhood remain the closest to our hearts. Creating and sharing a culture of the best music will inspire your children to enjoy and make music throughout their lives.