Generation Game: The Age of Musical Influence

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Hello everyone,

Today I would like to share with you the launch of a new campaign we have been working on, called Generation Game, where we wanted to see the ideal age we are more likely to be influenced by our parents’ musical tastes.

We combined a survey of 10,000 parents with children under 18 in Brazil, France, Germany, UK and US with a literature review by Dr Hauke Egermann from the Department of Music at the University of York. In the survey, 73% of parents across the five countries report their children react most positively to hearing their favorite music before the age of 10. The literature review conducted by Dr Egermann’s supports these findings and shows that the prime age to influence children’s future music tastes is between eight and ten.

After the age of 10, children become less receptive to liking unfamiliar genres. Just 9% of parents with teenage children reported positive responses when playing their favorite music to their kids, even though 21% of respondents wanted their kids to start liking their music between 11-15 years old.

Our study also shows that the vast majority of parents have a strong desire to influence their kids’ musical taste. Seven in ten respondents (72%) try to get their children to enjoy their favorite songs, while a whopping 89% of polled parents believe it’s important to broaden their child’s musical horizons. Nearly a third of respondents (28%) have played their children music they consider to be culturally important. According to Dr Egermann, this can be beneficial for children, as exposure to a larger variety of music is linked by prior academic study to positive social outcomes and adaptation later in life.

While nearly half of parents (47%) choose to play their children music that reminds them of their own childhood, dads (75%) want their children to appreciate ‘their’ music more than mums (70%). Mums, however, see better responses than dads: 41% report that their kids loved the music they shared, while 25% of dads found their children reacted negatively.

Parent across the world use a variety of tactics to influence their kids music tastes. These include playing songs in the car ‘because they can’t escape’, or dancing to make tracks more fun. In addition, 56% have taken their child to a live music event such as a concert, gig or festival, with 16% considering it the perfect occasion to help their children discover new music

Sadly, heavy metal fans may struggle to influence their kids with this genre, as 21% say their children found it the most challenging to accept and reported negative reactions. On average across Brazil, France, Germany, UK and US, pop was the easiest genre for kids to get into (94% positive reaction), with positive reactions to other music genres including dance (91%), hip hop (91%) and rock (88%).

The research shows that parents experienced a mixed reaction to children hearing their favorite genre of music. The below list contains music genres that children like hearing the most, split across each market.

We also discovered the percentage of parents in each country encouraging their children to like the same music as them:

To celebrate these findings, our musical editors have created global playlists that features classic tracks from a whole range of music genres to give parents in Brazil, US, France, Germany and UK an invaluable starting point to enjoy some of the most iconic songs and bands in music. You can access the ‘Childhood Tunes’ playlists here.

Dr Hauke Egermann’s literary review is available to view here.

Don’t forget to comment below and share your childhood songs with the rest of the community 😉.

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