A few years ago I gave myself a gift. It was a ten-dollar guitar from a second hand store, which I gave to my son. How it was a gift to me I will get to in a moment. Just wait.
As a help to all you parents out there I recommend that you get your kid a musical instrument. But it can’t be a violin or a clarinet. It has got to be something cool. Musical instruments fall into 7 categories.
Woodworks; clarinet, oboe, bassoon, lathe.
Pipes; trumpet, trombone, tuber.
Strings; violin, viola, violette, violini, longbow.
Percussion; triangle, cymbals, moroccos, whatever the untalented kids played in school.
Cool; keyboards, piano, fiddle, saxophone, harmonica.
Really cool; guitar, bass, drums.
Uncool; accordion, bugle, flute, bagpipes.
Really uncool; harp, castanets. (These are for no one.)
As my kid learned to play a cool instrument, the most amazing thing happened. Sure, it was a long and winding road at first while he was practicing, but eventually he began to recognize cool music. This was mygift to myself. A song came on the radio one time and my son said, “That is so obviously a drum machine. Lame.” I have seldom been prouder. Where can you find that kind of satisfaction?
Nowhere, man. Now I even let him drive my car, and if he turns up the music I just let it be.
Your kid’s music choice will not foisted upon him by clever marketing types in California. Nor will your child pick music solely to annoy you or get back at you for something. Instead of saying, “Don’t bother me“, you will be saying, “Little child,
I feel fine.” It won’t be long before you will find that you and your child can come together in agreement on music. The Beatles for example.
The Beatles are now the subject of a video game called RockBand. It is a lot like air-guitar except there is a way to keep score. This must be about the Beatle’s 48th resurgence of popularity. Today they are popular. Yesterday they were popular. In the late 1980s when there was that revolution
back in the USSR they were popular. They will still be cool when I’m 64. Your mother should know, she’s about 64. They were so popular in the 1960s that Volkswagen even named a car after them. They were John (Vladimir) Lennon, Paul (Mick) Cartney, Richard (Ringo) Ringo, and George (Not the cute one) Harrison.
So, think about the things we said today. Get your child started off on the right track musically. Because, years from now you do not want to say, “I should have known better.”
(Do you want to know a secret? There were 25 Beatles song titles in this column.)