Do you have a soundtrack for your life?
Songs you listen to when you feel victorious? Songs that bring comfort when you’re feeling blue? Songs to give you energy when you clean house or exercise?
Music has an amazing ability to influence our moods, which, in turn, can influence our actions. That’s powerful.
We would be wise to educate our children on the power of music.
MUSIC IN OUR STORY
My husband is a guitarist. The first time I met him, he was backstage getting ready for a concert. The second time I saw him, he and his brother joined a mutual friend for a jam session at my house.
I quickly fell in love with his music. A few months later, I fell in love with him.
After we married, he pursued a career as a studio guitarist, and I began writing “The Great American Novel.” We didn’t plan to have children.
However, five years into our marriage I became pregnant—and our plans changed.
My husband loves playing guitar, but when when he became a dad, he set aside his musical aspirations and dedicated himself to supporting our family.
I’ve never met a more dedicated father.
MUSIC IN OUR HOMESCHOOL
Music has “played” an important role in our homeschool.
When my sons were big enough to hold my husband’s travel guitar, he began teaching them how to play it. As they grew a little older, he bought them their own guitars and taught them music theory, techniques, and how to care for their instruments.
They quickly became competent guitarists.
We often talk about the most significant purpose for music: “Music is made for worship!”
Today, both my sons are equipped to lead worship on guitar. One of my favorite memories is pictured below when Ryan and his dad led worship at my dear homeschool mentor’s farm.
(BTW: We’re working on a new resource designed for beginning or aspiring guitarists. Click here for more info!)
Listening to music together and asking questions has sparked some lively discussions:
- What attracts you to a particular piece?
- What mood does it inspire?
- What story is told by its lyrics? Is it edifying?
MUSIC IN OUR CULTURE
We seize every chance we can to develop critical thinking, so we talk about how music impacts our culture.
(I firmly believe that critical thinking is one of the most valuable tools we can put in our children’s toolbox. That’s why I created Philosophy Adventure and other critical thinking resources.)
The late atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1950, made this sinister statement:
Education should aim at destroying free will so that pupils thus schooled, will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their schoolmasters would have wished….and in order to condition students, verses set to music and repeatedly intoned are very effective….
When I first encountered Bertrand Russell’s comments about such dangerous objectives and blatantly manipulative methods, I was shocked. But his words only deepen my resolve to help my sons and other students develop critical thinking skills.
MUSIC IN YOUR HOME
Music is a tremendous gift. However, as Bertrand Russell demonstrates, it can also be tremendously destructive.
Given the powerful nature of music, I urge you to be proactive and engaged.
Do you have guidelines for what music your children are allowed to listen to?