I took my kids to the Guelph Jazz Festival on the weekend. They mostly played in the splash pad and chased their friends, but they were also introduced to music and musicians that they wouldn’t have discovered through their friends or from the radio, both of which are so obsessed with the stars that they usually fail to notice how much musical diversity and virtuosity there really is.
This is why I discourage my kids from listening to pop music on the radio actually, not because it’s terrible (though most of it is), but because they’ll hear it anyway, one way or another. I feel that they are best served if I encourage them to experiment with a wide variety of music and to appreciate the music for itself rather than for the publicity and image-making that surrounds it.
I’m not always successful, of course. My kids still love some of the most musically inane pop music, but it gives me great satisfaction when Ethan puts on Louis Armstrong or Bob Dylan and Marlon puts on Sue Foley or Led Zeppelin. It’s not so much that I approve of their specific choices, but I approve of the variety in their musical interest, which I think allows them to appreciate music far better than if they ended up listening exclusively to the five songs that are playing on the radio at any given moment.