If she decides to take up the dobro, I am set.

By Veronica

My oldest daughter will begin violin lessons this year.

We’ve been praising the violin at home, trying to create enthusiasm for the lessons. The teacher uses the Suzuki method, so I’ve been reading up on it. Apparently, the method works best when the family includes similar music in their everyday life. This comes naturally to my husband, who would rather listen to Mozart or Vivaldi than the Dixie Chicks, but it requires effort for me.

Oh, dear readers. It is killing me.

I am not a classical music person. Sure, I can appreciate some things. I enjoy a good choral performance, and, if necessary, I can drag out the distant memories of my college music appreciation class. But the idea of supporting my daughter by listening to classical music every day or during every car ride makes me die a little inside.

Before I had kids, I believed – like many a childless person before me – that my children would like the music I like. And up to a point, they do. But once I had kids, I discovered that I did not want them to listen to the music I liked – the sad, redneck caterwauling about loss and betrayal, or the jaded, world-weary alternative rock.

I wanted my kids to be kids, enjoying the innocent soundtrack of childhood. The songs at our house are much more likely to be about animal noises or old ladies with odd eating habits than about desired nightly partners. And now we will be making another musical change. And I will learn to like it, darnit, for the sake of my daughter’s education.

Fortunately for me, once a violin becomes a fiddle, it plays music I dig. Now excuse me while I stock up on Mark O’Connor cds.

When Veronica is not hiding Johnny Cash from her chidlren, she blogs at Toddled Dredge.

14 Responses to If she decides to take up the dobro, I am set.
  1. Heather of the EO
    July 21, 2009 | 8:39 am

    Maybe you could create a mix on pandora.com

    You could plug in Johnny Cash/classical and see what happens! Fun game! 🙂

  2. Kelly
    July 21, 2009 | 10:21 am

    And that’s why my kids won’t learn to play the violin.

    We listen to a lot of jazz and a lot of rock and a lot of Laurie Berkner and Go Fish. I feel like I have to put up with a lot of unfriendly music already without having to add classical into the mix.

    That said, my husband (like Az) would love it.

  3. Kelly
    July 21, 2009 | 10:21 am

    Oh! Question: All the Baby Einstein CDs are classical. Do they count?

  4. Beck
    July 21, 2009 | 10:40 am

    I actually do like classical music, so long as I am listening to classical music that I like – which is to say, I’ve realized that I like very much the Brahms/Schubert/Chopin type of classical music and once I understood that, I could start listening with confidence.

    Of course, I would much rather listen to moan-y alternative stuff, but as you wrote, I don’t want my KIDS listening to that. So this is my trade-off.

  5. Louise
    July 21, 2009 | 11:03 am

    Hey, I grew up listening to John Denver and Emmylou Harris and the like (as lullabies, often–ever heard John Denver’s “For Baby”? My dad used to sing that to my sister and me before bed), and my psyche isn’t too scarred.

    That said, I do like classical music, and am already trying to instill an appreciation for it in my children. I seem to be having better luck with Raffi.

    It’s a start.

  6. Rachel in CA
    July 21, 2009 | 3:06 pm

    I LOVE classical music. LOVE it. NB: it’s best loud. I am the kind of classical music nerd who can’t help trying to conduct it one-handed while I’m driving down the road. One of our favorite car games when my kids were smaller was “What does it sound like is happening in THIS song?”

    I also like everything from Hank Williams to Blue October, with a wide detour around rap, and I’m embarrassed how well my kids know some of that stuff.

  7. Sherri K. Edman
    July 21, 2009 | 8:23 pm

    I know it’s not much comfort, but if you listen to a little classical music every day, you may find yourself acquiring a taste for it. One of the largely unappreciated aspects of the affections is that they can be cultivated.

    That being said, I’ve let my kids listen to everything, at least until I have the “Holy smokes, I can’t let my kids listen to this song!” moment. I tried to compromise with good jazz. Colin listened to a lot of John Coltrane and Miles Davis the first year of his life.

  8. Carrie
    July 21, 2009 | 10:11 pm

    I also like classical & kids’ music, so I wouldn’t have to sacrifice too much – we listen to kids’ praise CD’s sometimes in the car – I know & like most of the songs, so I can sing along, and they’re fun enough for my son. But we listen to a lot of my music, too & he likes it so far. 🙂 But, yeah, I would think he was missing out if he never got to listen to a kid’s CD or any classical – I remember listening to classical music with my mom & sister as a child, and those are sweet memories.

  9. Julie
    July 21, 2009 | 10:55 pm

    What @Rachel said! I love classical music, and the louder the better. 🙂

    I’m a Suzuki mom too, btw. We listen to the CDs every day, but we listen to lots of other kinds of music too. My daughter’s violin teacher performs in many different styles and has even recorded jazz improv versions of a couple of Suzuki pieces. It’s all good!

    I’ve found that the better I know a piece, the more I like it. Whenever we get concert tickets I try to spend a few weeks listening to whatever’s on the program so that when the time comes, it’s familiar. Makes a HUGE difference.

  10. Herb of Grace
    July 21, 2009 | 11:16 pm

    Hmm. Is your teacher telling you not to let the kids listen to anything but classical? I highly disagree. Disagree with all of my nearly fifteen years of Suzuki teaching experience. A wide range of musical background is invaluable to a budding musician.

    And I agree with Julie, as you learn more about the intricacies of the music, you being to develop an appreciation for it.

  11. Veronica
    July 22, 2009 | 8:14 am

    HoG, no, it was my decision to filter out some of the music I prefer, because of its content. Nothing to do with the teacher. She will not be listening to only classical music.

  12. […] if my eating habits were not enough posing,my 5MFP post is up, and it’s about my musical mortification of the flesh. Check it out. digg_skin = […]

  13. Jeana
    July 22, 2009 | 9:24 am

    My boys took Suzuki, and they got to the fiddle music pretty quickly–this could vary according to teacher though.

    My kids liked the Classical Kids CD’s–Beethoven Lives Upstairs, etc. It mixes a story with clips of the composer’s music. Also, they think headphones are pretty cool.

    And I seem to recall a disco version of Beethoven’s Fifth. I don’t remember any banjo version though.

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