Music for pre-teens

We are at a stage in life where Liam is becoming more interested in music and that is awesome. We have been bringing him along with us to live music (mostly free shows during the summer season) since he was a baby and over the past couple of years he has gone to several (paid) shows with us and is starting to find his own way.

I had bought tickets for my husband Jim and I to see Brett Dennen in November but Jim ended up being away so I brought Liam as my date (pictured above). This was a bit different than shows we’d been to in the past and he was really surprised when people stood up to dance (even a guy older than dad – lol) in their seats and in the aisles. It was high energy and a lot of fun but I couldn’t persuade him to get up and dance with me. Maybe next time.

Jim and I have vastly different musical tastes – he is all Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Tom Petty and The Band while I tend toward Prince, Adele, AC/DC and Chris Isaak. We do have many overlapping favorites including Van Morrison and newer artists we discovered together – Sean Rowe (a local guy) and Griffin House. He has gotten into some of my music and me into his. He does refuse to listen to the Carpenters, however!

So I think we were a bit devastated early in the school year when he brought home a music worksheet about his music tastes where he wrote in none under favorite musicians and answered he had not seen live music in the past year. Seemingly these music-loving parents had spawned a child with no interest! He had taken a year of piano before his schedule got too busy and I thought he had enjoyed it. Well, soon after that, a music school came in to do a demonstration to get kids interested in taking lessons and much to my surprise he came home asking to learn the trombone. I guess the instructor said they really needed trombone players in the world and he took it as a personal appeal. A few hundred dollars later we got to hear him play at the Christmas Concert this year!

A blurry picture of Liam at the Christmas show

From there it seems his interest in music took off. I imagine it comes from the time he spends with his peers because he’d make comments about music that came on the radio – that’s such and such’s favorite song. He was starting to pay attention. Last week I took him to see Ralph Breaks the Internet and on the way there we listened to Imagine Dragons latest album, at his request, and a song came up during the movie (Free Falling) and he asked me to guess and so I said Imagine Dragons. I got a “Seriously, mom? That’s Tom Petty” and I felt the scolded child for not knowing my artists.

So initially my post was a quest seeking ideas of artists to download on Liam’s phone today so he could listen to it on the ski bus later but I think I’ve got some pretty good ideas through the writing of this. Clearly, I’m not in touch with what teens are listening to these days (without explicit lyrics, of course) so if you have any ideas for me, please drop them below. It is much appreciated!


2 thoughts on “Music for pre-teens”

  1. Mary- Don’t worry about not wanting to dance. I went to a Mavis Staples concert at Proctors, and sat behind a family group that included a girl about Liam’s age. Mavis can make it hard to sit still. When her parents put their hands up, the girl tried to physically haul them down, and literally shrunk in her seat in embarrassment. We were close to the front, so she couldn’t see how others were reacting, only her parents. Completely outside her experience and definition of cool. Mortified.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that wonderful story! Made my day recalling the concerts my parents dragged me to (Anne Murray – I was that mortified teen).


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