Here's a terrifying thought for all you parents of the kindergarten-to-third-grade set: At about the turn of the century, you might be the grown-ups running for cover whenever your child turns on the computerized stereo system.
Of course, you could try launching a preemptive strike by developing the musical taste of your progeny before they become opinionated teen-agers.
That's one of the ideas behind new workshops at Pages Bookstore in Tarzana, where parents can bring their children over the next several months to learn about classical, folk, country-Western or rock music.
"We want to present the different styles of music to children and parents and introduce the artists who perform that music," says Linda Fisher, a singer who will help lead the classes.
"We're going to discuss the characteristics and a little history of each musical style," Fisher says. "We'll have some activities, and we'll keep it simple so it's interesting to children."
Fisher also will discuss the age appropriateness of the various performers. "I remember getting a tape when my children were very young and thinking it was so boring," she says. "They just adored it and listened to it over and over. We want to help parents find music that they and their children can listen to over and over."
The five classes, expected to last about an hour, begin 11 a.m. Saturday with an introduction to classical music. Classes from June to September will cover folk music, country-Western, rock and artists who play multiple styles. Participants can attend any or all workshops.
Evelyn Kohan, a clinical psychologist from Encino, has enrolled her 6-year-old in the first workshop.
"I happen to be really interested in classical music, and I play it around my house quite often," says Kohan, who read about the workshops in the bookstore's newsletter.
"My daughter calls classical music 'flute music,' " Kohan says. "And she likes it. This is a good opportunity for us to both learn something together. And, I like the idea of exposing her to the arts."
Darlene Daniel, owner of Pages, says giving parents the opportunity to explore all types of music with their children was one of her primary motivations for holding the workshops. She also wants parents to be aware of the many selections in children's music that are on the market.
"Except for highly commercial musical offerings for children, exposure and distribution of children's music is much more difficult," Daniel says. "There are few opportunities to find out about music they might really enjoy, unless it is suggested by a teacher or a friend."
Each workshop will cover the distinguishing characteristics and history of each style of music, the instruments commonly used to perform it, significant composers and performers of each style and what makes that particular music pleasurable.
Parents and children attending the workshop also can listen to musical tapes available at the bookstore and see some of the instruments used on those tapes.
The first workshop on classical music will, in part, focus on the Classical Kids composers series, a set of recordings produced by Children's Group Inc. that combine drama and music to tell the story of great composers and their works, including Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Tchaikovsky and Vivaldi.
Fisher says she hopes the workshops will broaden the horizons of parents and children alike.
"A lot of parents just don't know where to start when it comes to choosing music for their children," Fisher says. "These workshops will give them a framework for finding their way through the maze."
WHERE AND WHEN
What: Music workshops for children 5 to 8.
Location: Pages Bookstore, 18399 Ventura Blvd., Tarzana.
Hours: Classical music, 11 a.m. Saturday. Other workshops June 11, folk music; July 16, country-Western; Aug. 13, rock; Sept. 10, "Music for Today's Children."
Price: $15 non-refundable registration fee includes admission for one adult and up to two children, audiocassette of your choosing for $9.98 or less, and list of recordings. Enrollment limited; preregistration encouraged.
Call: (818) 34-BOOKS.