I do think it has to do with how well the parents are educating their kids as far as music/culture goes. I don’t mean “Educating” in a stuffy sense, i.e. forcefeeding some kinda curriculum down their throats, but simply… listening to good music they enjoy and letting the kids listen in too, without patronizing the children by fobbing them off with Barney or Dora or whatever officially sanctioned “Music for Kiddees!” is popular these days with parents who want to shut up their children in the car.
I’m galled by the sheer condescension involved in assuming children must listen to/watch pap, or must have separate dinners or whatever. My sisters and I grew up in the sixties (my oldest sister) and the seventies (my closest sister & I) and we were exposed to and loved Gershwin, Beethoven, Chopin, Sinatra, Richard Rodgers, the Beatles, you name it. My parents were catholic in their tastes and didn’t sneer at rock or modern pop music just because they were born in the 1920s (I have very fond memories of my parents dancing to Stevie Wonder, actually. ) We didn’t have some need to rebel by listening only to disco or punk; I mean, sometimes we did, but generally it was all good depending on our mood.
My niece was brought up the same way. She grew up with parents who in additional to modern stuff watched black & white classic films & TV shows, and listened to classical music and the Beatles and Rodgers & Hammerstein. And now this thirteen year old adores I Love Lucy and Katharine Hepburn is her favorite actress. She listens to Jonas Brothers and the High School Musical soundtracks, sure, but she also loves the entire catalog of the Beatles, and knows Carousel backwards and forwards. She also loves playing Chopin on the piano.
In my experience, when parents show respect to their children by treating them not like either miniature adults or infants, but like people who just might enjoy great music and culture, the children respond with curiosity and openmindedness.