My 7-year old son is really into music lately, in all kinds of ways.
He is learning to play the violin through Suzuki, and it's been amazing to watch as his critical thinking and math skills have skyrocketed along with his playing ability. The more songs he learns to play, the more timed math tests he passes. I can't count the number of "lightbulb" moments I've witnessed during violin practices... from understanding how to read music to how to transpose it to a different set of strings.
It's truly amazing.
At the same time, he's in love with his iPod. (Yes, he has an iPod. It's just a shuffle and he got it for Easter. I spoil my kids - so what?) As his mother, I see it as my job to help him be cooler - musically speaking anyway - than I ever was. Together, we've loaded his iPod with some great music. Of course there's the soundtrack from High School Musical 2, some Jonas Brothers, Hannah Montana, etc... But I've also introduced him to U2, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and a host of other good music I can't think of right now. All clean songs, of course.
Tonight he asked me to play "Gavotte" on my flute for him. It's the last song in his Suzuki book and he thinks it's pretty cool that I know how to play it. Never mind it was the song I played for solo/ensemble contest in the 7th grade and he's going to be playing it on the violin sometime in the second grade... it's nice to be admired for a bit!
But his musical skills (and his math skills) are going to pass me up in about... oh... another week or so.