How Your Parents Influence Your Musical Path

Our elders and superiors undoubtedly have a huge impact on our lives, often none more-so than parents. When it comes to your musical journey, it’s no exception. In this article we explore the ways our parents influence our musical choices, from school to instrument choices and everything in between.

Sam Beattie

Sam Beattie

Think back to when you first set out to learn an instrument. It might not be far off, or it might be a little while back – either way, there’s a chance that your parents or wider family had an influence on the musical choices you made, right?

A lot of us don’t realise it at the time, if ever. Looking back, how much impact do you think your family had? We’ll bet that it’s pretty significant when you think about it.

Your First Musical Instrument

First up, the instrument(s) you play. If you started at a young age, particularly at school, your parents may have had something to do with it.

Different schools offer different choices on the instrument lesson front. Some offer it as part of extra-curricular programmes, while some don’t do it at all. Then there’s private tuition, and there’s plenty of that to go around.

Common instruments range from contemporaries like guitar and drums to classical choices like clarinet, cello, and the most popular of them all – the piano. There’s a likelihood that, at the very least, you started on one of these. Is that still your instrument of choice?

Learning the guitar at school - Andertons Music Co.

As far as we’re concerned, any instrument is a good instrument. Stringed instruments, from guitar to violin, require a common dexterity and strength that’ll set you up for good. Drums and percussion speak the universal language of rhythm, invaluable regardless of instrument or style. Piano combines hand-eye co-ordination with music theory quite unlike any other instrument.

Whether your parents encourage you to start with electric guitar or the recorder, there’s a chance it may have helped fuel the musical fire within you, even if it’s no longer your instrument of choice.

Musical Styles

If you’re anything like us, your parents’ musical collection – be it tape, CD, vinyl or digital – was the first stepping stone. And not just in terms of your playing – your personal taste too.

Some of the best guitarists, drummers, keyboard players in the world, regardless of their style, started with classical music thanks to their surroundings. The musical preferences of your parents, family and friends are bound to have an effect on your musical journey. If you’re raised on punk music, there’s a chance that’ll shine through in some way. It’s up to you to decide how…

Pursuing Your Passion

Your passion for your instrument isn’t always shared by those around you. This can have a negative effect on your experience and stifle your creativity. Many are fortunate enough to be encouraged by friends and family – if your parents are musicians themselves, it often helps!

Why Should Parents Encourage Their Kids to Learn Instruments?

I mean, we’re slightly biased, but hear us out. There have been countless studies on the benefits of learning a musical instrument – and the results are generally positively conclusive.

Not only are there social and emotional benefits; many have observed some academic benefits. Learning an instrument can literally improve your grades! Check out our blog: Why your child should learn to play an instrument.

My Personal Experience

It was actually my parents who first encouraged me to pick up an instrument. By encouraged, I mean my parents enrolled me for guitar lessons when I was 8. I started with a 3/4 size nylon guitar and learned nursery rhythms for a couple of years, eventually moving over to electric guitar (largely thanks to my teacher’s cool attitude and teaching style).

As the years went on, my parents realised I was taking the guitar – and music, more broadly – very seriously. It had become a genuine career option. Presumably after much debate and a couple of phone calls with my teachers, my parents decided that it’d be positive for me to be able to pursue this passion.

In many ways, I got lucky. My parents were always positive – even when I started leaning towards metal music in my teens. But it didn’t just come down to parents’ influence. It was the music around me, both family and friends. It was my guitar teachers’ attitudes that helped me progress. All worth considering…

More info

If you enjoyed reading this piece, check out the rest of our learn articles here. While you’re here, check out these links for more good musical stuff:

Thanks for stopping by!

Sam Beattie
Sam Beattie
Sam is one of our content writers, as well as being our resident southpaw. When he's not busy being left-handed, he spends his time composing for music libraries and playing in a post-rock band. Sam plays a Mexican Telecaster and a Vigier Excalibur, and is never more than 5 feet away from his Electro-Harmonix POG.

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