How Does Your Child Experience Music?
By: Tyrone Allen
Over the years, I’ve been in a number of situations experiencing and playing music. Whether it was playing electric bass in Church, trying to sneak in some extra practice time in during High School, or struggling through guitar lessons, I have very different feelings associated with many different musical situations. Nowadays, I could find the most joy from working alone on a simple musical concept, and or it could be playing with an Indie-Rock band. Luckily because of the support of my parents, music eventually became a multi-dimensional joy for me, constantly filled with twists and turns that characterize my personal experience with sound...and that’s where you come in! The question I want to ask parents is this; from what you see and hear, is your child experiencing music in a way that works for them? Why or why not?
As you can probably tell, my musical journey up to this point was not so cut and dry. My father first taught me recorder, and early on I dabbled with the piano and saxophone. Eventually I came to the guitar, and somehow I stuck with that for around 6 years. After a few years of taking lessons, my teacher brought to my attention an opportunity rehearse and preform 3 songs with some other students at the music store I was studying in. I participated and this ended up being a blast! For a while I continued playing with Tony and Leslie, the bass player and drummer from the group respectively. These are some of my first memories of feeling truly elated from playing, a feeling that has become the fuel for my musical journey. There was one thing not quite right though...I wanted to play bass. Playing lead guitar had its moments, but I can remember being enamored by Tony’s feel, and his role in the music. It resonated with me and I knew it!
In high school I then began to take music a little more seriously, studying classical and jazz simultaneously. Like many of your kids probably do, I found joy in the meticulous and repetitive nature of practicing either a piece of music, or technique associated with the instrument. Stemming from my background with guitar, I also found love in improvising and creating music. In later years I also deepened my love of the bass function, which is something that I think will keep any bass player working for a long time.
So, how does all this relate to your child taking piano lessons for example? The answer isn’t so simple, but nonetheless deserving of some investigation by parents and teachers. I believe that the most important question here is “What music does your child seem to like the most?” Is that supported in lessons and with the child’s practice routine? Are piano lessons and practicing at home the extent of your child’s musical development? Maybe he/she would have a refreshing experience playing with others in the community. Maybe even on another instrument! Being open to many musical possibilities as an adolescent could only broaden your child’s experience as they grow, which is in the end, the worldly view we need the most.
Exploring different avenues of musicianship and education is one of the goals of Note-worthy Experiences, and I’m sure it is part of the reason why you gave your child the opportunity to study music.
Even after finding some of these joys, staying involved and passionate about the bass was (and is!) not always a walk in the park. I even tried to give up the bass one summer, but my parents were able to thwart that plan before it could take off. At this point, I’m eternally glad for my musical journey, for it has influenced me beyond what I know. It has allowed me to travel overseas to places I could only dream of, and meet people I will never forget. Whatever your child’s musical experience becomes, I hope that they can find as much joy as I have. This is owed to people like Renee Bordner, who give kids the opportunity to experience music in a way equivalent to their wildest dreams.
Tyrone Allen studied at Eastman College of Music where he graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Classical Bass and Jazz Bass. He is a former bass teacher for Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio.
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