As a child of the '80s, my musical education was primarily provided by the letters M, T, and V. My primer was naturally the radio, listening to the folk station with my mom in the car and the hits station on my boom box. But it was MTV that really cultivated my taste in music. I was thinking about his earlier today and it struck me that my diverse interest in various types of music might be due to MTV.
It seems that people who came of age prior to MTV are more likely to favor one particular style of music. They only listen to rock, or they only listen to pop, or whatever it is that they listen to, because they stuck to one radio station that played the same style all throughout the day. But the great thing about MTV is that you watched the channel and would get a mixture of genres at any given hour. It wasn't until later that they started to assign genres to different programs. There was never a time in my life where I didn't have several different genres that appealed to me.
This type of programming was also responsible for bringing hip-hop into the mainstream. It exposed the pop listener to heavy metal and vice versa. Of course, the station would eventually drift away from music altogether as the internet became the medium of choice for this platform. But the spirit of enjoying several genres of music really should be credited to the pioneering station. I, for one, am thankful for it as I still have wide-ranging tastes.