Can you Influence your Kids Music Taste? This Mom Wants To Know

A young girl enjoys a concert at Skeleton Park Arts Fest. Photo by Jon Nicholls.

I am 38 years old. That’s almost 40. That also means I was hardcore into the 90s and early 2000s music scene.

That makes me sound like a groupie – I wasn’t quite there. But there were some summers I’d follow a band around to all the festivals: Ottawa, Brockville, here in Kingston, and sometimes Gananoque. I think I saw The Tea Party at least 5 times in one year. I thought that was pretty impressive!

Now I’m a mom. I still love my Canadian rock, especially those bands from back then, but I’m much less hardcore than I used to be. (I called myself a hardcore in the KROCK studios – live on the air – way back in the early 2000s. I was there for a live session with Wide Mouth Mason and they asked me how I knew so much about what was currently going on in their lives. My reply: “I’m a hardcore, from the website!” My friends still gibe me about it. But really, they are my 100 per cent favourite band and they knew who I was once I told them my screen name from the message boards. Yes, I am THAT old.)

The best thing is I’m raising my girls to enjoy music, as well. I’m really hoping to keep them on the alternative rock route, but frankly I don’t care what they’re into. They are their own people and have their own tastes. If those tastes mesh with mine, so much the better – concert-going friends in the making!

We listen to 98.9 The Drive at home and in the car. I’m so old now that I can’t retain new band names or remember who sings what anymore, but when the ‘90s at 9’ is on I’m totally in my element! We’ll also tune into Big FM or KROCK – and occasionally Fresh Radio when the girls are in charge.

In a few weeks I’m heading to the I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven concert at the Grand.  And I’m seriously considering grabbing tickets to the Tea Party in March. (I went to their 20 years of Transmission concert 2 years ago and loved it!) I also know that Matthew Good is playing at the Spire sometime in the spring, but I heard that might be sold out. So much good music coming to town (in my opinion)!

A selfie Jessica shot when she was the only person waiting in the rain for Hawksley Workman at Rockin’ the Square in 2015.

Now let’s get back to my kids. They are currently seven and 10 and they are getting interested in music. They love rock radio, but they are also still stuck on Katy Perry and (newly) ABBA. There’s nothing wrong with that – I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t sing along to either of those – but I really hope they develop a love for guitar-driven rock.

I took them to a Rockin’ the Square concert a few summers ago, but my youngest (five at the time) said it was “TOO LOUD!” and they went home. Luckily I went with my parents and my husband and kids, so he took the kids home, and I got to stay and watch the whole show! (I think it was David Wilcox – I remember it was a great show.)

It may be time to try again. My concern is that I will buy tickets to something and it will have been a waste because they won’t want to stay. And let me tell you, I’m not one to leave in the middle of a concert. Though I did go to a Big Wreck and Theory of a Deadman concert, and left halfway through Theory – I thought Big Wreck was the headliner, but I was wrong!

Anyway, I’m curious how you introduced your kids to live music. Or have you yet? We’ve been to some local festivals where music is happening, but there are other things to look at. The girls enjoy those, but we never stay very long. And all the bands I want to see start at 7:30 or 8pm, and that’s still my youngest daughter’s bedtime. Nothing goes over well when she’s supposed to be sleeping…

I know time will tell how my girls’ music tastes develop. I don’t want them to grow up too fast, but at the same time, I’m trying to grow some lifelong friends here, so hurry up and be ready for concerts already!!

PS – I’ve already made them into huge Harry Potter fans, but I still can’t get them to enjoy pizza like I do. Children are strange creatures.


Jessica is a girl mom, music lover, avid reader and writes her own blog A Modern Mom’s Life. She is open to ideas and topics for future articles for Kingstonist. Email her at [email protected] and follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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