Sunday, February 12, 2012

Music - Not Optional

I played accordion for the first time in public today. The one I have is a wonderful instrument loaned to me by one of my bandmates at church. Played along on a couple of songs and my wife told me it sounded great and. really, her opinion is the only one I care about anyway.

Our routine for a Sunday service is to rehearse, set up in the sanctuary, then play through some of the more critical songs before people start to find their seats. After we got done with setup and the on-stage quick run-through today the son of a friend was asking about our music.

"You want to see an accordion, Connor?"

He pressed a couple keys while I explained how it worked. We made some crazy sounds with it.

This of course attracted even more kids. What shocked me is that none knew what an accordion was! What does not shock me is that nearly all the kids were interested in the music it could make.

Give a kid a chance to make music an they will. They're fascinated by instruments. They need to create and express themselves. Music is a language everyone has some capacity to communicate with.

We don't give kids enough chance to commune with music. In my perfect world every child would know what an accordion is. They wouldn't get to college not knowing how to attend a large ensemble performance (phones off, don't applaud between movements, and so on).

Eventually you'll have to stop playing football, but you'll always have music. We should be giving our kids the chance to create their music, not just pay to consume it. They're craving it.


  1. So true on so many levels.

    It is sad that we are putting so much effort, as a society, into sports and the things surrounding it and not enough into things that can enrich a person's life. Music, sadly, seems to be a casualty.

  2. I think you're right Bob - society wants consumers and competition not enrichment. Consuming people don't create. We need more creative creators and makers.

  3. This reminds me of the scene when I take my uke to the park to watch my kids play. Invariably other kids flock around me wondering what I'm doing and how it works. They like to try it out. They like to tell me their music stories: maybe their aunt plays the piano or maybe they are taking lessons themselves. Music and its instruments are something powerful, one of the few things I've seen that can stop crowd of playful kids and capture their attention.