As we all know, variety is the spice of life…but many of us get stuck in a rut when it comes to the musical genres to which we will listen.

When you think about it, though, music is much like food in the sense that just because you don’t like salmon cooked a certain way at one restaurant doesn’t mean you won’t devour it when it’s cooked differently by another chef.

Commit to spending at least ONE hour this week experiencing an out-of-the-ordinary musical genre as a family. You don’t need to love it, but try to appreciate the layers and complexity of each “taste” you get just as you (the parents, of course) would if you went wine tasting.

Luckily, this exercise is piece of cake in the age of cable, satellite TV and the Internet. Go to one of the music channels that you wouldn’t normally select on your preferred device, put on the timer for an hour, then PUT DOWN THE MOUSE or remote.

Unless there’s a lot of profanity in the lyrics, don’t change the station or turn off the channel.

What instruments do you hear in the music? Are they different or similar to the ones used in the music you nomally listen to? How do the rhythms differ? What do you think of the lyrics? Is the music melodic or dissonant? Is there more of a variation in dynamics (e.g. transitions from loud to soft or vice-versa)?

Just like you would find in your normal genres, you’ll hear artists you enjoy listening to more than others…and if you’re using a service like Pandora, Slacker, or Spotify, you can customize the new genre to suit your family’s musical “taste buds”.

So, belly-up to a Song Smorgasbord this weekend and sample some new musical delights.

Bon appetit!

Audible Feast
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