Metal music is in my nature. At the age of eight, I had always wanted an electric guitar. I had no source of inspiration, and only a vague idea of what possibilites such an instument would provide, but I was absolutely certain that such an instrument complemented my being. Much to my dismay, consultation with a family acquaintance led to chord-based weekly lessons on the acoustic guitar. I quit after a year.
Fast forward to eight grade. I signed up for a course classical guitar technique, and requested an electric guitar for Christmas. At this time, I also began seeking out the heaviest music I could find. Luckily, Show No Mercy and Hell Awaits were among the first albums I encountered, although death metal and black metal remained insufficiently explored until I concluded high school. (What can I say? I'm a late bloomer!) Continued study of classical guitar complemented my training nicely.
What kind of environment did I grow up in? I was surrounded by ABBA, The Beatles and various folk-inspired kiddie tunes. Annual experiences of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker ballet stand out in my memory. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, I actualized what I believe to be an inherent component of my nature. I'm sure we all recall the feeling of listen to our favorite albums; the principial sentiment is that of recognition. The same goes for when we are first exposed to potent ideas in text.
The ANUS philosophy on metal states that the artform is an embodiment of timeless ideals, the same ideals that are strung throughout the Classical period, the folk songs of indigenous peoples, from time immemorial. If you choose not to provide your child with a full palette, they will find metal music on their own (if it is indeed your child!). My younger sister had been able to find the patterns, the melodies of black metal albums from a very early age, and although she may not favor the artform, largely due to peer influence, it has fostered her love of music. She is now taking lessons for the clarinet.
Music is important to a child's development, without question. Why, then, would we question the integrity and acceptability of metal music in early childhood? Metal surpasses even classical music in terms of stimulation; the rich layers of sound afford the opportunity to explore worlds and discover patterns interwoven into short expanses of time. If anything, becoming accustomed to metal music prepares one for life in a world that intends on distracting individuals with its rapidfire pace, insofar as they are able to sort throught the stimuli to determine what this all means. Life becomes exceedingly beautiful when we are able to dissolve the time-space continuum. Metal, while not an explicit vehicle for transcendence, provides the right cues for its attainment.