When children are young, it is easy to control the type of music they listen to. Mostly, children listen to what the parents do. Parents may choose to listen to music written specifically for kids, but at other times, the family may listen to whoever set the stereo station last.
The question becomes: Is Rock music safe for children?
Nearly all the best-selling albums of all time are Rock. But is this ‘rebellious’ genre of music having a positive or negative impact on children and society?
As with just about every subject, there are many pros and cons.
The fact is: Rock is a form of art that promotes creativity and expression. Many songs have very poetic lyrics and send off great messages to people. A big message sent through music these days is world change.
In 1985, Live Aid was put on by many rock musicians from Black Sabbath to U2. It raised over 232 million dollars for famine relief in Ethiopia and was inspired by the song ‘The Tide is Turning’ by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd.
Even today, many bands put on benefits for a plethora of causes. Several bands have toured in Iraq to perform for our troops overseas. Also many rock benefit concerts were put on to raise money after the 9-11 attacks, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2004 Indian Ocean Earthquake.
Bands also promote Christianity in their music, especially in today’s day and age. Popular bands, such as P.O.D., Flyleaf, Pillar, and many others, widely and openly promote religion through their music. And other bands, such as Breaking Benjamin and Chevelle, subtly promote it through their poetic and abstract lyrics.
Looking at their generosity of both their talent and money, it is clear that many Artists have chosen to spread joy. Are there other benefits?
Music in general, as well as Rock, can inspire children to pick up a healthy hobby of playing music. Learning an instrument helps a child find a form of creativity they can express in an unimaginable amount of ways. Even if they aren’t going to become the next icon, enjoying music can often grant the listener or player an outlet for emotional issues or traumatic events as life progresses.
However, much like all good things, inevitably, you will also find the bad.
Many artists express their feelings through morbid and perverse metaphors and talk about dark taboo subjects. These artists have a breathtaking talent that people should be open to, but they are simply not for children.
Parental advisories can’t always be trusted. For instance, the songs ‘Digital Bath’ and ‘Lhabia’ by Deftones talks about a daydream of grisly melancholic acts, acted out of boredom. This album has no parental advisory on it at all. Yet, that same band has songs against drugs, racism, and other positive influences, but is also not for young children.
As much as the R.I.A.A. tries to help, they are not the parents of America.
As our children start to discovery their own taste in music, parents need to monitor the content and words. Maybe your child has found a singer or band that they really like. You have listened to the song and approve. Make sure when you buy that CD though, you carefully listen to all of the songs or simply purchase the one song that you approved.
Rock seems to be the most controversial but it also has many positive influences that should be taken in to consideration. There are some negatives that come with it, and those should be filtered out by the parents.
As a family and society, we do not want record companies, or anyone else for that matter, to decide what we feel is appropriate or not. We enjoy the privilege of making that decision. We do appreciate their input, hence the labeling. But, when it comes down to it, we are the parents; we will take responsibility for what our children are plugging in their ears.
So, the next time your child wants to listen to a song they like, instead of immediately refusing, listen with both ears. You will learn much of what your child likes and dislikes. You will gain insight into the thinking of your child. You will also learn what to absolutely deny your child.