How Fathers Influence Their Children’s Musical Taste

From teaching values to instilling self-confidence, fathers have a huge influence on their children’s lives. But there is another less discussed area where fathers influence their children – musical taste. I didn’t believe it was true until I evaluated my own musical journey.

Although my biological father wasn’t present in my life, I still remember songs he would play when he’d take me out on rare occasions. He’d listen to classic rock, Motown, and funk. Every time I got into his car, he had a new 8-track loaded into the player and was grooving to the music. I was intrigued by the songs because my mother didn’t play this type of music at home (she mainly listened to Gospel along with a few James Brown and Ray Charles records).

Later, when my mother remarried, my stepfather filled the house with classic jazz tunes. He was a jazz musician and was intent on teaching me to appreciate John Coltrane, Theolonius Monk, and Charles Mingus. I rebelled at first, but I slowly learned to like jazz.

Because of these influences, my musical icons include people like Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Wynton Marsalis, Bob Marley, and Prince. Over the years, I’ve mixed in current artists, but the artists that I like seemed to be rooted in the musical traditions that I was exposed to at an early age.

Your dad probably influenced your musical taste too, and now you have the opportunity to influence your children. This fun infographic shows how fathers’ favorite music indicates what their kids will listen to in the future.

father's favorite music


Stay Strong,

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Join the conversation: How has your father influenced your musical taste? How do you influence your children’s musical taste?

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About author

Frederick J. Goodall

Frederick J. Goodall is the founder of Mocha Dad - a parenting website focused on fatherhood. He is passionate about parenting and helping men to be great dads, husbands, and role models. You can contact him at or on Twitter at

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