From babies and Beethoven to middle-schoolers and Eminem, music is an important part of kids' lives. We play Mozart in order to make them smarter, sing lullabies to get them to sleep, and take them to weekly music and movement classes. And then we spend the rest of their lives telling them to "Turn it down!"

The point is, music is critical to our lives, and that love and enjoyment starts at a very young age. This week we take a look at a round-up of blog posts on the importance of music, teaching music to kids, and more.

Kids NEED to Play Music! Take it from this Arizona-based piano teacher, telling your kids they're too young for lessons or setting expectations too high is doing your children a disservice. Enjoying music includes PLAYING music. Arizona Piano News

Building Baby's Brain: The Role of Music This somewhat scholarly post (complete with footnotes) includes answers to the age-old question: What's up with the classical music? It also includes great tips for incorporating music into your young child's live. Education Oasis

Mozart for Babies After the kerfluffle regarding the Mozart effect, new parents went hog-wild, scooping up everything with ole' Wolfgang's mug on it. While the jury soon returned with a ruling that music wouldn't necessarily make babies smarter, it sure did help calm them down. This blog post includes a discussion of the Mozart effect, as well as why Amadeus got all the credit. Bonus: Free Mozart MP3 downloads! Allaeas

Influence of Music on Teens If my kid listens to a Body Count album, is he going to become a cop killer? Probably not, says this post from a group of therapists and counselors. Here's how to let your teen have his space while tuning in a bit yourself. Associated Counselors & Therapists

Problems and Solutions: Kids and Music So after months of pleading, you buy the darned violin or drum set or electric guitar, and now little Lilly won't touch it. What's a responsible parent to do? Here's a wealth of advice from parents who've navigated similar situations. Family and Home

12 Benefits of Music Education Learning a musical instrument or taking voice lessons doesn't just give your kids another activity to add to their college application, it can have some real benefits for their life. Here's an even dozen to get you started on the "why." Children's Music Workshop