Is your daughter begging you for voice lessons, so she can learn to sing just like Taylor Swift? Awesome! But she also shouldn’t be limiting herself to the pop-country crooner. Read on as Nashville teacher Heather E. explains why…
Lets get this straight right off the bat – I don’t hate Taylor Swift. I think she’s a great performer, a great businesswoman, and her early songs (the ones she wrote herself) are pretty good. If your daughter is looking for a role model, TSwift’s story of stardom will certainly inspire her not to give up on her dreams.
However, I have a lot of experience with 8-year-old cuties that come to me for their first lesson and when I ask them, “So, what kind of music do you like?” they squeal, “I want to sing and play guitar like TAYLOR SWIFT!” While it’s a good thing that they are excited, it takes a few lessons for me to convince them to try some Schubert or even just The Beatles. (“Here Comes the Sun” is a great song for beginners!)
It is important that kids are exposed to all different types of music as youngsters. Expanding their auditory palate will do them a world of good as musicians, and as valuable members of society. The good news is, it’s so easy to do! All you have to do is download a music streaming app (like Pandora or Spotify) and pick out a station with a type of music they have never heard before. What a special experience for you to share with them!
Before you know it, your kid will be rocking out to Neil Young. Classics that you grew up on are so good, so do your daughter (or son!) a favor and play them some CCR… you know you want to. The goal here is not for your daughter to sound like Neil Young instead of like Taylor Swift; the goal is to get her to sound like her! And in order for her to find inspiration and discover her own voice, she has to listen to something other than Taylor Swift music. If “Teardrops on My Guitar” has 865 plays on her iPod, she’s going to sound like Taylor Swift when she sings.
And I will be thankful to you, because your daughter will be asking me to teach her songs by Bob Dylan and Billy Joel! (and we can sing “Teardrops on My Guitar” too…)
Heather E. teaches voice lessons online or in your home in Nashville, TN. She has a BA in Music from Winthrop University and her specialties include classical voice and audition prep. Learn more about Heather here!
Photo by Eva Rinaldi