Music, Mozart, Moshing & Mommies

by sarahmfry, May 12, 2007
Tonight I drug my tired self and my poor blistered foot back into the van to go take down the yard sale signs and buy some powerade for my part-camel husband.

I was cruising around in my super-cool grocery-getter, enjoying a tune by a popular CCM artist. But then typical Saturday evening Christian radio led me to endure what some would describe as music and others as Christian (both debatable).

Apologies to the toes of any of you moshing, head-banging moms out there….

And I was thinking about my philosophy of music-listening, and what I’m going to tell my kids when they’re teens when they want to crank it up in about 9 years. (Isn’t God good to give us a decade or so to prepare – or at least brace ourselves and stock up on cotton?)

Then I remembered that I’m totally programming them right now. I am developing their musical tastes by my own. Filling their fresh, young minds with the vibrations that their brains will literally grow around. (Maybe I’ll blog about the scientific truth of this another day….it’s powerful stuff!)

I do have some clarity on what I want to teach them. But sometimes I’m nervous because my musical tastes are bafflingly diverse. As I mentioned before, head-banging music makes me want to….well…bang my head! But other than that, it is difficult to find a style of music that I cannot enjoy or at least appreciate for a few moments or longer. But I am aware of the dangerous paths down which an ipod-mesmerized youth can be led. Vigilance is not optional. Right now – even when they’re 0, 2 and 4!

At this point in my meager parenting development, I am of the tendency to not forbid entire genres of music, but rather to teach and model the principles that will guide the practice. That idea basically summarizes the philosophy of my husband and I in all lifestyle issues. (Not that there aren’t absolutes….I won’t digress).

I am also of the opinion (ducking from possible rotten vegetation) that God did not design our bodies so powerfully to respond to music in every way if He had already sanctioned THE music that is “okay.” Translation: Dancing is good! Please don’t freak. I’m being funny. Sort of.

Many of you have heard my Dad’s sarcastically famous reference to “The Seven Songs that God Likes.” So much he taught me makes more and more sense as life goes along. I am so convinced that God does not fit into a neat and tidy musical box. So many parents push their children away from being spiritually and intellectually thorough in their music choices by FORBIDDING instead of TRAINING.

Today I was also reminded of the “do what I say, not what I do” phenomenon. My children are not allowed to make negative comments or noises about food they are given. But I tasted something today and said, “Blech!” I think it was Kayla who caught me. I am trusting in the fact that kids also learn powerful lessons from hearing their parents back up and apologize when needed.

You’ve all heard about the "Mozart Effect." I, of course, have opinions about all that, but I’ll spare you. But I do know about “The Mommy Effect.” I’m not saying my kids will grow up to love the same music I love. But it is possible. And those 6 little beady eyes are watching….6 six crusty ears listening (uh....ear infections).

It makes me at once want to crank up the music with joy and throw out the speakers in fear. What an opportunity to introduce their ears and minds to the handprint of God. But mercy – I’d better have my musical ducks in a row.

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