There’s a common adage that music is the universal language. It has the power to bring people together, to allow them to experience a plethora of emotions – regardless of language, background, or race.
Unfortunately, as unifying as music can be, at times it can feel that it’s something that divides generations.
How can you turn music into something that strengthens the bond between you and your grandkids?
Connecting to your grandchildren with music might actually be easier than you expect.
Connecting to Your Grandchild with Music – Why It Can Be Difficult
At first, connecting to your grandchild with music might seem impossible.
Today’s hits might not seem like your cup of tea, while the classic hits that you love seem too “old-fashioned” to your grandchildren.
Why is there such a generational divide when it comes to music?
While older generations will tell you that their music is better as far as quality, morals, and heart – that’s not always the case.
Shane Snow, writer for Contently.com, did his own statistical musical study. He looked at the top ten songs for each decade and compared them.
It’s true that since the 70s, musicians feel more freedom expressing feelings of lust or their experimentation with drugs and alcohol.
However, what’s especially interesting that the main themes of the most popular songs are generally the same. The thing that keeps each generation tapping their feet to the beat: love.
Yes, music over time has changed as far as explicit content, beats, and more electronic sounds over acoustic sounds go.
But the themes of the songs are very similar – and that’s something that both you and your grandkids can get on board with.
How to Connect with Your Grandchild Over Your Mutual Love of Music
Besides the commonality of theme, there’s something else you and your grandkids can bond over – how passionate you each are about the music you listen to.
So how can you connect with your grandkids over music?
1. Be Open to Listening to Today’s Hits
Appreciating and becoming an aficionado of multi-generational music takes an open mind – on your part and the part of your grandkids.
What will help you keep an open mind?
GoodMenProject.com has some suggestions, which include:
- Remembering your motivation (to have a close relationship with your grandchildren)
- Welcome new situations (and music)
- Avoid speculation (don’t automatically assume today’s music is junk)
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions (if you don’t understand something, give your grandchild the satisfaction of explaining the song style or lyrics to you).
2. Give Your Grandkids the Lyrics to Some Classic Hits
One of the things that turns some kids off to songs of the past is that it feels more light and bouncy than the music they’re used to.
Try giving them the lyrics first and see if they’re more open to listening to the songs.
This tactic was portrayed in the movie Dangerous Minds, a movie about a teacher who tries to connect with her inner city students with music.
They don’t think the songs of the past have any bearing on what they’re experiencing. But then she gives them some lyrics to a Bob Dylan song and explains what the lyrics mean and it opens the kids’ eyes.
Actually, reading the lyrics to some songs first might help you get into the mood to listen to some of today’s hits.
A popular YouTube series called Elder’s React has seniors reading the lyrics to songs of some of today’s artists. After that, they listen to the songs. What they’ve found is that reading the lyrics actually exposes them to the depth of the artist that they wouldn’t have experienced by simply listening to the song.
3. Start a Sing Along Tradition Early
Of course, it will be more difficult to bond over music if you start when your grandkids are teens.
However, if you start earlier, your grandchildren are more likely to have an appreciation for the music you like. And if they see from a young age that you’re open to your music, they’ll be more likely to keep sharing as the years go by.
This type of sharing relationship will also open the pathways of communication – forging an even deeper bond between the two of you.
So the next time you get together with your grandchildren, why not suggest a sing along of everyone’s favorite songs?
Music Has Changed over Time but It’s Impact Hasn’t
Over the decades, musical styles and tastes have changed. We might not always understand the latest generation’s musical preference. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t find something good in it or learn to appreciate it.
And the same can be said of how your grandkids feel about your taste in music.
When we come to appreciate a variety of styles, we are able to learn more about each generation. We’re also able to see that the things that are important to you – like love, being understood, and feeling valued – are the same things that are important to every generation.