We’ve heard it before - music is timeless. Music unites people and crosses all boundaries. I knew it was true, but now I can see that it’s true. I see it with my three-year-old son and my sixty-six year old dad.
My son and my dad bond in “Grandpa’s room” - my dad’s home office. They play different computer games, watch different videos, and one of their favorites is a rendition of “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay.” An organization named “Playing for Change” traveled around the world, recording street musicians performing this song. The clips are edited into one version, providing my son with international exposure - an Indian sitar, a Louisiana washboard, a Santa Monica keyboard. My dad knows the song - it was popular when he was a young man. I know the song because of Tom Cruise and Top Gun. Now, my son knows the song as well.
I know other parents who firmly believe young children should only listen to classical music. Music that is hundreds of years old. Music that is faceless. My son knows that music because of his “Baby Einstein” videos. My son also knows Ottis Redding, Michael Jackson (“Billie Jean”), Neil Diamond (“Forever in Blue Jeans”), and Elvis Presley (“Can’t Help Falling in Love”) - to name a few.
I firmly believe that my son should know that music sounds different. Different instruments, different melodies, different styles all combine to create different sounds. And my son should know that all people can enjoy music, can sing along and be happy with music, can express themselves with music.
My son is growing up seeing and hearing the world singing the same songs he is. To borrow from another song, music proves that “It’s a small world after all.”