If history has taught us anything, and I don’t think it has, it’s that Justin Bieber is a thing kids today are going to be embarrassed about later. Think N-Sync, New Kids on the Block, or for a littler international flavor, Menudo, which is actually a kind of soup. That’s just the way it is.
The main reason for that is just kids don’t have anything to compare it to, so they like things they can relate to, and what they can relate to is simple. So as an adult, you are going to have to listen to some crap, get ready for it, dread it if you want, but you will have to accept it.
Like all things though, you have an opportunity for neat little experiences as you help a young person grow intellectually. As an example, let me tell you about my nephew and his fondness for New Kids on the Block. Something I found out about on the way home from miniature golf.
My nephew and I were talking about music. I was telling him what I like, why I liked it, and he was telling me what he liked. Now, I could have been dismissive, lord knows it’s easy. But in general when I talk to kids I like to come at it from a point of respect. That’s not to say I don’t make fun, I do, because I do that with people I respect. But I also always try with kids to explain exactly why I think what I do, so they can judge if I’m being fair, because maybe I’m not.
Here’s what I said to my nephew.
You know, it’s cool that you think this kind of music is good. However, when you learn more about music, you’re going to realize this music was mass produced by people who just wanted to make some money. I lot of really good music you have to work harder to hear, because it isn’t always accessible on the radio. So yes, definitely enjoy your music, but don’t be afraid to listen to other kinds of music, you’ll be very happy you tried it.
My nephew is a working musician now, no fooling. Quite talented and he makes my taste in music appear pretty pedestrian. The only reason I remember this story at all is because he told it to me. He told me the story of my conversation, and how it made him think about music that day, and how he decided he was done with New Kids (Sorry New Kids, that wasn’t my goal, I promise). Today my nephew is a musician. Now, I’m not really responsible for that, he’s the one that did the hard work, going to college and being in a ton of bands. But I did have a gentle hand in being encouraging and honest at the same time. Never pass on that opportunity to share an idea with a kid, you’ll be amazed what they do with it.