The Music In My Head:The Music in Kid’s Heads

I don’t know if this is the case for you or not, but I have a soundtrack going in my head all throughout my waking hours.  If you are around me much you will know this because it often bursts out from its bonds and comes out in song, hum, or more likely a whistle.  I do make some attempt to control these outbursts when I’m around other people, especially at work, but they happen anyway.


It is interesting to note that when you meet someone in the hallways or on the street and you are whistling people will almost always remark on what a good mood you must be in.  I have given up correcting them, but really my mood has little to do with it.  I actually find that if anything it happens more when I am stressed, perhaps my unconscious way of keeping on track.


It might seem natural for me to have music playing in my house all the time if I am so into music.  This is not really the case on regular days.  During the Christmas season (from Nov 12 – Jan 6) my iPod is always on, but not the rest of the year.  I have lots of non-Christmas music on my iPod but I still don’t tend to play in much.


Today is one of those rarest of days when I don’t have to leave the house for anything all day!  In my head this is a great thing, but in practice I almost always get very restless when I am at home without a plan.  And so, today I turned on my iPod to shuffle all songs.


I should mention that I have always been unwilling to pay the full  price for an iAnything.  My first iPod was $25.00 through Kijiji and my awesome “new” one was $70.00 and has 80g of space for music, video, books etc.  A side effect of this is that I have a bunch of music on the pod that was there with its former owner.  He was a high school student and had very eclectic tastes.


This morning I had to skip the first four or five songs that came up due to language or inappropriate content.  With the whole day before me, I decided to finally go through and delete the music I don’t like.  I had previously deleted any pieces with f@## in the title or lyrics, but that sweep had done nothing about the songs encouraging suicide, drug use, casual and or violent sex, etc.


My first idea was to go by genre and remove all the “hard stuff” but I discovered that some of the music I really like was in this section.  I also discovered that the genre ratings for music vary widely so that some “alternative” music was just screaming and on the other extreme some was unplugged guitar and voice.  I ended up going by artist.  If I put it in the library I just left it, I wouldn’t have paid money for music I didn’t like.  When I came to an artist with whom I was unfamiliar, or had only a vague sense, I clicked on a song to listen to it and while I did that I read the song titles.  I know parents have been saying this for decades, possibly centuries, but what are kids thinking listening to this stuff?  I can’t even bring myself to put the titles on my blog, but suffice to say that some of our kids are going around with the music in their heads telling them to do various and assorted sex acts, to cut themselves, that there is no point in living anymore, that suicide is a great relief, that violence in a relationship is normal and or desired.


My daughter tells me that she doesn’t listen to the lyrics of songs, just enjoys the music itself.  Now, I believe that much of the music that was on my iPod would not be on her playlists which is a great comfort to me.  I’m not sure that it is any comfort that she doesn’t pay attention to the lyrics.  They will get into her head even if she is not focusing on them.


When my kids were much younger I noticed that commercial radio played many songs I didn’t want the girls to hear.  I liked the music style though, so I went looking for something I could listen to without worrying about the kids picking up language or ideas of which I didn’t approve.  I switched to listening to our local Christian Rock station JoyFM and or cds in the car.  Later when we got XM Radio I switched to The Message.  This is still the music in my car and I’m glad that I made that choice.


There is no way for me to be sure what my kids have for the  soundtrack in their heads, but I do know that at least a large portion of what they have heard has had a positive message.  I pray that this might be the case for a growing number of our teens and young adults!


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