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Music: The Tie that Binds Parent and Baby
By Ken BurkeWhen journalists ask famous rockers about their influences, responses range from genre pioneers to obscure collectable recordings. Such information establishes a stylistic link to the artist's work. The true unsung heroes of rock 'n' roll, however, are typically Mom and Dad.
Whether they pay for CDs, music lessons, or band equipment, parents provide key support and tacit encouragement for budding musicians - especially true if Mom or Dad is a musician or music enthusiast.
Tim and Judy hoped that some instinctual good would come from playing music to their children "in utero." As a rock and blues guitarist, Tim was delighted that his first son kicked (in the womb) in response to Nils Lofgren tunes. Now that the couple is divorced, two of the boys stay connected to Tim by playing the guitar. Whereas another child plays the saxophone and the youngest sings beautifully in the church choir. Though life with five kids can be hectic, Judy made time to sing each child to sleep with his or her own bedtime song.
Phyllis believes that her quiet husband, Dwain, established a wordless method of communicating with their two sons through music. As a multi-genre instrumentalist, Dwain performed classical music pieces repeatedly during his wife's pregnancy. As toddlers, when the boys heard these same pieces, they would spin with unrestrained joy. Phyllis, who has a soulful singing voice, sang her children through household chores and early home scholastics to make them seem less tedious.
Considering that music helps develop motor, oral and memory skills it's not surprising to learn that these children receive top grades. And their parents claim that the kids embrace a wide variety of music genres.
Though these children will develop their individual tastes, they will always remember who introduced them to the expressive world of music: their parents.