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February 23, 2012

A Child’s iPod

Jason Fry loads his nine-year-old son’s first MP3 player.

Whether he knew it or not, he’d made a cunning request. Like most fathers, I’m inclined to indulgence if I think it will make my kid more like me, and I immediately saw that an MP3 player was a chance to shape my son’s musical education from the beginning.


What really worried me was a more basic question: To truly love music, did you have to discover it as part of the normal and natural rebellion and establishment of your own identity? Did you have to be able to claim it as your own? Are things different now that fathers—particularly the Brooklyn variety—are more likely to stay MP3-playing, blog-browsing guys in hoodies than they are to become remote presences in wing-backed chairs?