Friday, September 29, 2017

Reasons for playing

WE ARE IN the throes of school band instrument rental season. They are flocking to Fifth and Maine and we are expecting an onslaught of slightly bewildered parents and excited kids in the store today and tomorrow. Thanks to Boyd Music, we are stocked and ready.

Most children are told by the schools what instruments to pursue, but we hear all kinds of stories about why kids get into music. One parent told us his child simply woke up one morning and "wanted to play the drums," which led to piano, trumpet and other instruments.

A mom and her curious son came in yesterday to rent a trumpet. The kid says, "I want to try other instruments too." By that he meant he wanted to strum every guitar in the store, poke at the keyboard and ask about that big guitar with the thick strings. Curiosity might kill the cat (or maybe make him throw up all over the store, like our Fast Eddie) but curiosity sparks imagination and creativity in music.

A dad came in with a used clarinet the other day and asked us if it was good enough for his daughter. "I just want to get her into it," he said. It looked fine, but we told him to check with the teacher to make sure it was playable. He came back a few days later extremely grateful and happy that we gave him good advice and answered his questions. It's what we do. We are happy he's happy. "She's playing the clarinet!" the excited dad said.

Video games are expensive too!
I would never tell a parent what to say to a child, but when a mom looks at her kid and says, "You are getting really expensive," it kind of irks me. I understand the economics of renting an instrument and it isn't cheap. But you can spend just as much on video games, computers and DirecTV. In fact, you can spend a lot more. Getting your child away from the computer or cell phone isn't easy, and kudos to parents who realize an instrument is far more than something you lug to school every day.

Lastly, I had a guitar student come in yesterday. He was dragging and beat up after a long day at work. He is employed in the medical field and does very well for himself and his family, but you can tell he's challenged and doesn't always enjoy what he does for a living.

"This is the best part of my day," he said. "It's therapy and I really need it."

Sounds like the best reason of them all, and I know exactly how he feels!

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