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Child's Play

Re "Kid Rock" [May 17]: Giving children a firm foundation in basic harmony, beat competency and good tone production is not about pleasing the parents. It is about providing the solid building blocks of a musical future. Adults should be less concerned about what they find enjoyable and more concerned with how good musicianship is fostered in their children.


As a mother of three children under the age of 7, I am so pleased by the variety of musical options I can enjoy with my kids that don't drive me up a wall. I am grateful that artists like Dan Zanes and Justin Roberts are contributing to the musical enrichment of children while keeping things bearable for us parents too.

Cheryl Marco, TORONTO

Bring On the Bieber!

Re "Pop Star 2.0" [May 17]: Since I am an aspiring musician, Justin Bieber's story is an inspiration. With all the artists out there who rely on connections or reality shows to gain success, it is refreshing to see a young person make it big by his own means. His natural musical talent makes marketing his preteen charm easy.

Alva Ramirez, LOS ANGELES

Alas, another sacrificed childhood à la Michael Jackson and Macaulay Culkin. I can't imagine subjecting my children to youthful celebrity, especially for my own personal fulfillment. Experience tells us that peaking so early in life will provide Bieber, at best, with a lifetime of reminiscing.

William Shallcross, WINTER PARK, FLA.

Wise Counsel

I was in tears by the end of Nancy Gibbs' Essay on Bruce Feiler's emotional mission to find a council of people who could take over as his children's support system should he lose his battle with cancer [May 17]. Thank you for highlighting the importance of identifying the people in our lives whose character and wisdom are of benefit to us and, possibly, our children.

Grace Woodmont, BOSTON

Pill Power

Re "Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill" [May 3]: I find it tragic that there are still an estimated 200 million women, the majority of whom live in developing countries, who lack access to the Pill. Giving women access to contraceptives is a low-cost, far-reaching investment in their health and economic empowerment. When women can determine whether and when they want to have children, they are able to lead healthier lives, take better care of their families and break the cycle of poverty. While we celebrate the gains that contraception has made possible in some women's lives, we must use this landmark anniversary to address the growing need for family planning in developing nations around the world.

Carmen Barroso, Regional Director, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Western Hemisphere Region, NEW YORK CITY

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