Rock n’ Roll and… Parenting?

09/28/2016 11:19 am ET Updated Apr 12, 2017

Music has always been an important component of our life. Therefore, when we became parents, we knew that music would be something we would share with our daughter in many ways. Since she was born, my husband has sang to my daughter every single day. When she was just an infant, my daughter became our band’s first groupie by regularly listening to our band’s live performances, sitting with oversized earmuffs next to my drums. We regularly crank up the stereo for “family dance party,” giving Solid Gold dancers a run for their money. And, when the stars align and it works out, we bring her to live music performances.

Now, let me clarify something here: the above recipe for “Family Music Fun Time” works the best for everyone in the family when we all enjoy the same music. This is not always the case.

Sara Zimmerman - UnearthedComics
Listening to (good) music with your kids. http://UnearthedComics.com

We take turns choosing what to listen to. Though we could opt to let her always select the repetitive radio-pop she’s heard elsewhere, we often introduce our daughter to up-and-coming and/or independent rock bands that we like. We have been doing this since she was born, so she is quick to adapt to new music.

As members of our own independent rock band, we relate to these bands and appreciate the work that goes into making new, original music. However, the added bonus of introducing emerging, independent indie rock bands to my child is that these are often the groups who are playing at outdoor venues where kids can attend, and for a reasonable price.

Therefore, these are the bands we tend to listen to, and see together, as a family. Then, when our daughter not only hears, but sees, a live band playing a song that she has heard on our stereo what feels like over a thousand times, it connects her with both the music and the musicians.

Photo by Rob Zimmerman
Our family enjoying live music together with The Revivalists and The Mother Hips

At first, I thought these musical outings would just be a fun way for us to spend quality, family, time together. However, so much more has come from these experiences. By seeing that these musicians she listens to through her iPod are actually real people, my daughter has learned that all people on the radio, internet, and TV are actually real, with real life successes, as well as real life problems. It teaches her that people work really hard to follow their creative dream to make their artistic life a reality. This experience also provides proof to her that if she wants to apply herself the way these musicians do, she too can work hard to be in a band or follow a creative lifestyle.

The other exciting byproducts of seeing live music together have included:

  • helping her memorization skills (she is far better at recalling lyrics than I)
  • helping her see that her voice is an instrument and showing her the importance of using it as a tool for clear communication
  • inspiring her to learn to play the guitar
  • learning that she can be in charge of her own healing and that she can use music as a tool to help change her moods

Whether she knows it or not, the introduction of live music into my daughter’s life has been profound. Often, she just runs around with friends at these music festivals. Other times she dances with us, tapping her foot and singing along to a familiar song. And, when the opportunity presents itself, she sometimes even gets to meet some of her favorite band members.

photo by Rob Zimmerman
Getting to meet Piper Robison and Gene Evaro, Jr. from the Gene Evaro, Jr. band

Regardless, each concert becomes a special experience for our family that leaves an imprint on my daughter’s mind that I’m extremely happy to support.

Here are our current indie rock recommendations:

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