Start Them Young

NickImageA couple of events have coincided during the last day or so to bring a question to my attention. That question is essentially, What music should I provide for my small children to listen to? I would like to answer that question by providing general suggestions concerning music to Christian parents for their children. For the most part, these recommendations will reflect the approach that I took with my children when they were small. As a parent, I wanted my children’s music to meet several criteria.

First, it had to be good music, worth listening to in its own right. Like good children’s literature, good children’s music should be as worthwhile for an eighty-three-year-old listener as it is for a three-year-old listener. In other words, it should be seriously musical, even when it is not being serious. Children’s music can certainly be humorous—even uproarious—but it should not be merely silly, trendy, or vapid.

Second, it had to be music that children would enjoy listening to. By this I do not mean that a child should get to listen to everything that she or he wishes to hear. What I do mean is that the music should be interesting enough to attract and hold a child’s interest, especially with adult involvement. Children’s music should be capable of seizing the imagination—and not only the imagination of a child.

Third, I wanted music that would allow me to engage my children in conversation. I wanted it to be music that we could discuss while and after listening to it. Good music provides the opportunity for teaching both about the music itself and about the extramusical world.

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"We already affirm together hymns that have source and associational issues. We always have."

“notice that many of these modern hymns have beautiful tunes that have been written to carry these creedal lines. This, in my opinion, is a great contrast to the generic, and often ‘circus-style’ tunes that characterized the ‘Gospel Song’ era…”
Of Modern Hymnody at Trinity

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