Research finds that experiencing live music early in life impacts attitudes towards new activities and experiences. People who were exposed to Reggae and Classical music in their childhood are more likely to broaden their social, cultural and culinary boundaries than people exposed to other musical genres.
Catherine Loveday, a leading music psychologist of the University of Westminster in London, drew the conclusion after reviewing 2,000 adults and the effects of music in their formative years and behavior in adulthood. She said:
Music is a very fundamental way for parents to connect with their children so it is not surprising that musical tastes get passed on. But it is interesting to think that listening habits might also nurture open-mindedness and flexibility, as well as a yearning for live music. We have known for a while that exposing young children to lots of new foods will help them to develop a more adventurous palate and it looks like the same thing might be true of music.
More than a quarter of those whose parents regularly listened to Reggae were open to trying new things, while the same was true for one fifth of those who were exposed to Classical music.
However, by contrast just four per cent of adults who listened to Heavy Metal and Soul music at a young age said they were now open to being adventurous and experimental.
The exposure to live music at an early age also seems to be a factor in attitudes towards new experiences. The earlier the exposure, the more open minded they became as adults and vice versa. This finding also correlated to their interest in attending live music events in later life.
The study also revealed, that music has less impact as we grow older. People were most receptive to different genres and sounds between the ages of 24 and 35. After the age of 35, interest in hearing new music genres declined.