Music Appreciation 101 – It’s OK to Disagree

Last Sunday, I was helping my 30-something son with a room-painting project.  When I informed him I’d have to leave early to come to work because of a concert that evening, I got the typical “who’s playing?”

“Heart,” I said, “and the show’s completely sold out!,” assuming he’d think that was pretty cool and question why I didn’t get him tickets.

A less than enthusiastic “uhh,” was the best reply my son could muster.

“What do you mean, ‘uhh?’  There are 1,647 people on their way to AMT who disagree with you.”  As the conversation continued, I realized we weren’t going to agree, and I felt I needed to apologize to the Wilson sisters and beg for their forgiveness.

Our discussion emphasized to me the difference in musical tastes and preferences between the generations.  How could my son not be excited about rock legends like Heart, two amazing women who have proven themselves worthy of their upcoming induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  But then, I’d have to admit to a less than excited response when the younger generations around me mention Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, CeeLo Green, or One Direction.

I’m sure my kids’ heads would explode if I made them listen to some of the favorites from “back in my day.”  The hot hit makers of that time included the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Queen, The Carpenters (photo,) Barry Manilow, The Bee Gees, and Hall & Oates.  Then, if there was anything left of them, my kids would probably experience a complete meltdown if they were subjected to music of my parents’ generation – artists like Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, Nat King Cole, The Glenn Miller Orchestra, and anyone who appeared on The Dean Martin or Lawrence Welk Shows.

Luckily, there are some music makers like The Beatles, Billy Joel, Madonna, The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, The Eagles, Elton John, and even Beethoven who have endured for years and have been embraced by music fans of all generations.

So, thanks to my son, I was able to take a step back and realize that no matter what generation you are a part of, it’s OK to disagree on what you think “great” music is because everyone’s right!



Donna Haefner is a member of American Music Theatre’s Marketing Department.  She can be reached at