When it comes to opening doors to some awesome opportunities, you can’t beat music. Unlike sports, school, or even some friendships, music has the opportunity to be one of the most consistent and constant elements in your kid’s life. And with consistency comes opportunity for some pretty memorable experiences.
In my life, music has allowed me to go places and do things that I would have never been able to do without it. And when you’re weighing different options for your kid to pursue, hopefully you consider getting him into music and who knows, maybe in twenty years he’ll be making his own list of unforgettable experiences that music has allowed him to have. In the meantime, here are a few from my list:
1. Flying on a Private Jet – I guess I should get this out of the way early; it wasn’t exactly a jet, more like a four-seat single-engine plane. BUT, in the summer of 2002, I was returning home from a mission trip to Cambodia and on the same day that I was flying back into Cleveland from the trip, the hip hop group that I was in (you read that right) had a show in Warsaw, Indiana. It looked like I wasn’t going to make it in time until the man behind the festival where we were playing decided to send a plane from Indiana to Cleveland to pick me up and then fly me back to Indiana to do the show. So when I landed in Cleveland, I grabbed my bag, was escorted out to the plane by the pilot, and touched down in Warsaw, Indiana a few hours later. It may seem like a lot of extra work just for a show, but I think the fourteen people that saw us play that day would tell you that it was all worth it.
2. Creating and Performing for Six Years – In the Summer of 2000 (the Summer before my senior year in high school), myself and two friends formed a punk band (I was the drummer) and recorded a 5-song demo tape in my basement. From there, I transitioned into the lead singer role, quit basketball and baseball and played shows on the weekends. As a freshman in college, two new friends and me formed a hip-hop group (the one mentioned above) that would go on to create and perform for the next four years (my longest stint with any group). At the same time I joined an indie-rock band that I was the drummer for and played in that group for the final two years of college. The process of writing and being creative with friends and sharing our work with people that truly appreciated it was truly one of my favorite parts of playing music.
3. Coffee Shops with Dad – As a drummer heading off to college, it was hard for me to talk my parents into letting me take my drum set. As a compromise, my dad worked it out that I could take one of his old guitars if I promised to learn to play it. After going through college and learning to play, I got married and moved back to Ohio and ended up in the same town where I grew up and my parents still lived. Since my dad was also a guitar player, we starting getting together and playing and singing old Beatles and Eagles songs just for fun. After awhile, my dad scored us a few gigs playing coffee shops and restaurants and by the time I moved to Tennessee (where we live now), we were playing two-hour sets with songs from all kinds of genres and eras. Musically, if there’s one thing I miss living down here, it’s that I don’t have the opportunity to do that anymore. I miss it and hope that we’ll get the chance to do it again soon.
With so many experiences and memories tied to music, it’s hard to imagine my life without it. When it comes to you and your kid, the incredible part is that he’s making those memories right now! You get the chance to help him develop the love of music in his heart and if through experiences and memories he falls in love with music, he will be more likely to work hard when things get tough and keep music in his life as he gets older. For me, even now, it’s these experiences that have attached themselves to my heart and when I’m playing my instruments and learning new songs, it’s not because I love the notes or the chords, but because I love music and I don’t know what I’d do without it.
What is ONE experience that music allowed you and/or your kid to have and enjoy?
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