November 9, 2012 - submitted by Charlie, United Kingdom

I am not a normal kid (apparently to my friends) I like music they don't. It's not my fault I know how to play the majority of band related instruments. I like music based on rock not pop or the music my friends like. e.g: Justin Bieber.
The nearest I get to present day music is Coldplay and Nirvana (even though they are not a band anymore, but the Foo Fighters will do for that).
I like music before this new kind of musical era, like Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix and also Jimmy Page (none of my friends know who he is when I mentioned I wanted to be a sessionist).
So I am asking how do I get my friends to not call me peculiar?

The Oracle replies:

You sound cool to me and someone I'd have wanted as a friend at school. When you're young, different can be seen as unusual, freaky, weird and all manner of other words that can be mean. When you're older, different can be individual, brave, exciting and defines who you are.
Stay true to yourself and don't mind what people *think* you are. You know who you are and that's what counts. You have great music taste - that's not to say your friends don't but each to their own. There wouldn't be Justin Bieber et al. without Jimmy, Jimi, Dave etc. (even if Justin doesn't know that).
Having diverse musical interests can be hard if nobody seems to share that taste but maybe you can focus on the things you do have in common.
I think you should be quite blase about it rather than give them room to ridicule. They'll soon get bored if they see you don't care. Everyone is entitled to like what they want so who cares if they can't see the merit of such brilliant music. Though there's nothing (essentially) wrong with pop music, trends will change and in a few years they may be embarrassed about their preferences so in the meantime rest assured that you will almost certainly never have that problem!
Over to you.

Well if you want you friends to stop calling you peculiar, just tell them that you don't like it. If they're really your friends they will stop calling you peculiar, if they are your friends they will respect your wishes and stop. Remember that you should never change yourself because of what your friends say. Your friends don't shape you and make you unique - you do. Grace.

Don't feel left out mate. Most music today is shoddy and I applaud you for actually getting into the nice classic rock era of music. For me, my musical interests revolve around Coldplay, alternative music, and movie scores; not many people around here can say that. So where I live, it is a disadvantage but I've learned to not care about what people say about my tastes. Because of Coldplay, I had the drive to learn piano and I'm self-taught for 4 years and can read sheet music. Because of movie scores, I have a vast database of music I can use for audio/video productions. To me, these genres and music are important to me which is why I'll never get go of them, and you shouldn't either. You do not have to do ANYTHING to change who you are because you are you. If they're being daft by labeling you an oddball and all they listen to is Justin Bieber and that radio crap, well, who's the better person here? Charlie, just keep being you and don't change. Billy N.

First of all, you don't have to feel like that. I was in the same situation. Almost all the girls in my classroom like Justin Bieber, but I don't. In fact, I prefer hearing other things like Coldplay, The Killers, Taylor Swift. I don't mind. I have a good relationship with all my friends, but sometimes people don't like to hear other's opinions. The base is to respect each other.
At the beginning of the last year I was new in that school and I was "peculiar" because I liked Harry Potter, Coldplay, etc.. And some called me "The strange girl". I ignored them and, quickly, I made friends, and now, I have the best friends of all the world. they´re funny, hilarious. Some of them like the same music as me, but that's not the reason they're my friends. It's because I like their feelings, their thoughts - not because the music they hear or the clothes they wear. It's because they are simply themselves.
If they´re your friends, they'll understand you if you decide to tell them your feelings. Always remember that you are original, and that is the difference between you and the people that don't want to understand you.

"Your actions demonstrate your feelings, not your clothes". Sofia, Mexico City.

I can relate. Like yourself, I'm into the classics. Today, everything is so mainstream that it sounds the same. I'm glad that there are others out there that know that that isn't the good stuff. I have a huge appreciation for people like yourself that can play a multitude of instruments. Music is a way to express yourself and when you can play more than one instrument, you're like a artist that can paint, draw, sculpt. In other words, you're even better at expressing yourself. Nothing is wrong with that, and nothing is wrong with being peculiar. If everyone on this planet loved Justin Bieber, imagine how much of a drag that would be. As a student in high school, I know there is a pressure to be accepted. But the key is to ignore it, be yourself, and embrace the fact that you're the cool kid that knows all the retro musicians. As for your friends, pray for the pour souls. They need to be musically enlightened. The best of luck. Kelsey, United States.

You should be proud of yourself not listening to the crappy music of nowadays! I know it must be difficult not to fit with the people that surround you, but you don't have to fit with people that are just sticking to the status quo.
Be yourself! Be unique! Be different! That's what the world needs today more than ever.
I'm sure you'll find someone who has the same likes as you, so don't let yourself down, "just be patient and don't worry."
Keep enjoying what you enjoy the most and don't listen to the empty opinions of mainstream people.

Charlie, if I was you, I wouldn't be too alarmed by the fact that you have a different taste of music like your friends have.
Good quality will always remain.
Just try to imagine that a great band from now. Let's take Coldplay for instance, also since this is their project.
Someday in future the majority won't know them anymore, in spite of them being so popular now.
It sounds unthinkable, but that's due to the changing world we are in.
Can you imagine that there was a time the whole world was talking about Jimi Hendrix.
So luckily, some day in the long future, one kid will stand up and excuse himself towards his friends for being a big fan of the Foo Fighters, Coldplay...
Best regards, Rames.

My best friend and I, know each other for almost ten years and she actually listens to bands like Nirvana and Korn. I personally, prefer Coldplay (for me there is a major difference), but this still hasn't been a problem for us to be each other's family. Right now she lives far away and I don't get to see her very often. So whenever I feel alone, I just listen to her music and this makes it all better. What I mean is, that eventually, your favorite music becomes someone's memory about you. And if someone loves you unconditionally (this is the only indicator of friendship), then the music you prefer to listen to will not be a problem at all. Even more - it will be that thing that makes you special, different and someone to learn from. I adore my friend for who she is, and your friends should do the same.
But if you want a practical advice - just give them your iPod and put on a more famous song like Fix You, for instance. I don't know anyone who doesn't like this one. At least you'll show them that there are exceptions and you might actually have something in common. Qna.

Congrats for your taste in music! You will find other bands you prefer too. Those you like now - that will remain. That’s the nature of things with a timeless qualitiy, also named classic. Be sure you’re not alone, I know a few kids listening music of the 60s,70s or new music far away from charts.
Friends don’t need to have everything in common, that would be boring. Friendships don’t work without tolerating other opinions or interests. Your friends find strange what they don’t know. When they visit you, you could have a mix of your favourite songs and such you still can accept, or a radio station without mainstream. Then they get a chance to hear and tolerate other music as they are used to. They don’t need to like it - just as you can tolerate them listening what they want. (Though Justin Bieber might be a torture for your ears - you will survive!). Furthermore there will be other things you can do or talk about apart from music.
Be aware you are - only in this one matter - on another level as your peers, so you should be indulgent and forgiving, but never appear uppish or snotty. Keep on rocking! L.Q.

Music is a big deal to me too; from first chair in the band to multi-instrument performer and composer, it's my LIFE.
And while I appreciate all musical styles, I still hold that awe for Hendrix's crazy antics, Page's musings, and Osbourne's special voice. You understand what Clapton meant by "I get off on screaming guitars."
The thing to understand here is that music is expression, and everyone expresses themselves a little differently. If people listened to what they liked, and not necessarily what was "cool", then more people would move past "I only like pop".
So be yourself! And if your friends really got your back, they won't get hung up on actual instruments vs. auto-tune :) Keep on playing, music lasts a lifetime, remember that.
Peace, The Lerch, USA

I actually had a conversation today with a few friends, similar to what you’re talking about now. I think it’s ridiculous that some people get judged or considered weird because of the music they listen to. Everyone is entitled to like whatever kind of music they want to, so honestly… I don’t think your friends are being fair when they say you’re peculiar – it’s actually kind of mean if you ask me. Just make it clear that you don’t find it funny and that you would appreciate it if they kept their opinions to themselves, at least when it comes to music. And for the record: you are completely normal! Sincerely, Medina.

You are unique not peculiar. I am the same way. I listen to a lot of classic rock and modern indie rock that most of my friends haven't heard of. For me personally I like not liking all the new pop music, and I have a couple friends that do like the same music as me so try to find some friends with similar interests as well as your current friends. Also you should be happy you are not like 99% of your school and are unique in your instrument and music choices. A.J.

I also am not a normal kid, but I've come to embrace it. Not a day goes by when I don't get told I'm weird, strange, or my favorite, insane, because then I quote Ray Bradbury. My friends love me for being who I am, even if they don't always understand me. I stopped caring what other people thought because I found out that life is so much more fun if you just be yourself (cliche I know). People usually like you for your uniqueness, and if they don't, it doesn't matter. They may not think you're so "peculiar" if you teach them what you know about music. Usually if people don't understand something, they label it with words such as "peculiar" "retarded" and "weird". It's not their fault they lack the knowledge you do, but you can change that. Sometimes it's very difficult to understand others' musical tastes, but I figure that different music speaks to different people, and if it's helping to make the world a better place, so be it.
Margaret, US.

You have amazing confidence and self-belief, keep it, your peers will catch you up in the end. Tracy.

I can relate to your situation. Not only music wise but apparently im a really weird person over all. I think what really helps is to embrace it, as hard as it may be sometimes. Once you do, it'll be easier for other people to embrace it since you're comfortable with yourself, and it will show. It also helps you realize who's really your friend and likes you when you're being yourself. This also goes for music because there are so many different kinds and everyone has their own taste. You haven't done anything wrong by establishing that taste. In fact, its pretty cool that you're different. Sort of like you're glowing. In the dark. Love, Darem.

I don't see how having different musical tastes than other people would make you "not normal" according to your friends so what you believe about yourself is what really matters. I can understand how you feel about this. For me, I'm not an avid listener of today's music, in fact I listen to music from the same era as you do (I'm more of a Motown R&B kind of person but I do enjoy some classic rock). It does get kind of hard to relate with your friends but eventually, I found other people with the same musical interests as me. I'm not saying to abandon your friends for other people but be firm and straight to the point that you don't like it when they call you "peculiar". If they don't listen, then they aren't the kind of people you should enjoy and spend a portion of your time and life with. Also, try to find some middle ground if you want to strengthen your relationship with them. Take a day off to introduce them to your music and in turn you can listen to their favorite music. Chances are, all of you have heard the songs before. Lastly, music shouldn't be discriminated based from genre or artist. The meanings reflect the time and condition of the person/community/world. If it's great concern, you should notify them. Liku, America.

You are not weird in any way, so don't let your friends put that nonsense in your head! I myself love Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Soundgarden, and Metallica. I also love modern music like Rihanna and Justin Bieber. Everyone has different tastes in music, and there are those who like to stay within the feel-good sensibility of pop. Since you actually play instruments, your musical palette is expanded because you can appreciate the skill and musicianship behind the music. This is why I love "older" music as well. Your friends think you are peculiar because they don't understand. So when they come asking, show them a Hendrix song that will rock their socks off! Best of luck! Blake.

I think you should be really proud of yourself - it takes courage to form, & be true to, your own tastes & opinions when you are young & still in school! I love that you are different(although feeling & being different may feel lonely at times). Try not to worry about being so different to your friends. It sounds to me as though you are/will be a 'musician's musician' so, keep loving, discovering, unwrapping & exploring music! (& follow & work towards your dreams!)
Perhaps you could read the biographies & autobiographies of great musicians, songwriters etc - a lot of them felt different & out of place so you will find kindred spirits throughout history, time & greatness. One day your friends taste in music might change & match yours. One day you will meet others who love the same music as you, so take courage & pride in your uniqueness & talent 'cause the world will probably be seeing & hearing of YOU one day! Love, Cali.

The above answers pretty much sum it up; we are all here due to our shared love of Coldplay but the other music listed that we listen to is pretty wide ranging.
Thanks to all those who replied to this week’s question. Next week is something more unusual. Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy getting involved, click to read this week's question with a difference, and send us your answer.