I love this picture. I mean seriously, how could you not?
We spent the morning listening to music. We spend a lot of mornings that way. Music has been a part of my son’s life since before he was born. Yeah, I was that guy that stuck speakers to my wife’s belly so I could play some of my favorite music for him. She was pregnant over Christmas that year so naturally one of the albums I played for him was A Charlie Brown Christmas. I love jazz and Vince Guaraldi so it seemed like a no brainer. I remember wondering at the time if it really would make a difference. Today, it’s his favorite album to listen to. It warms my heart.
It might not surprise you that we play music in my house all the time. With my burgeoning vinyl addiction there are always new records coming in, and over time he’s started taking an interest. We start our weekends with jazz in the mornings, sometimes classical, and I usually save the rock n roll for when he asks. As you can imagine, not all of it is appropriate for a four year old. But whenever he asks, “What record is this , Daddy?” and, “Does it have bad words?” Depending on the answer, I’ll put it on. I like to check in to see he likes what he’s hearing, and what he likes or dislikes about it. He’s not always into what we pick (I’m convinced he’ll come around to why Portishead’s Dummy is an amazing record), but i think it’s important to expose him to all kinds of music, from Mozart to Coltrane to the Foo Fighters. There was always music at home when I was growing up and I wanted to provide the same environment for him.
This particular Friday, we started the morning sitting at the piano. I was showing him where the notes were and that graduated to me playing a random bass line on the left side of the keyboard while he banged away on the high notes. In our own small way, we were jamming together for the first time. When he inevitably moved on, he asked to listen to the variety of music in my iTunes library, picking songs at random. I picked up my Fender Jazz to noodle along with some of the tunes and while I was playing along, he ran over to his room and grabbed this little drum set we got him for his birthday, sat down and started playing. This picture looks like we’re making music together. And I think in our own small way, we were.
Like many of the intense things I do in my life: my career, music, hobbies etc, I would never push him into anything, but help him find his way to do what he loves, play what he loves and nurture a love of music, whichever kind. My mom did that for my sister and I, and I think it was one of the greatest gifts she ever gave me. I can’t wait for the day that I can be in the front row at one of his shows(with a backstage pass of course). Who knows, maybe he’ll let me open for him.