This post comes from a comment I posted on Facebook.
I had really slacked on my music since becoming a father. Some kids just require more attention than others, but I also wanted to be around them as much as possible, and I missed them when I was at rehearsals.
Two years ago, I started playing guitar for their school’s “Community Circle,” a weekly event where all students and parents gather for announcements, songs, student-penned jokes, and other stuff.
It was a new school then, and having enjoyed a teacher-led band at their previous school, I asked the music teacher at the current school about putting together a band. She enthusiastically agreed. We got together a group of excellent parent musicians. We clicked immediately as a band, and as we all had a history of playing rock and R&B, we quickly established this school’s Community Circle music time as the “rockingest,” as the youngsters are wont to say.
Some of these kiddie tunes are not easy. Half of them are written for piano, so they can be in any key, and there are often multiple chord changes per bar, and some of the chords are beyond the Kumbaya. A few months of shedding these tunes, and I had woken up my dormant digits. I got my love of playing back.
I practice every day, now. I’ve relearned how to listen to the drummer, to only play what is necessary for the song, to find the right chord inversions to keep things interesting without stepping on the other players’ parts, and to love playing rhythm.
A few weeks ago, I started teaching my girls and some other kids to play the guitar. It is is great to rediscover what I am. I’m not the best musician, but I’m a musician. I always have been, from my first compulsive breaking down of beats by numbers in preschool (which thankfully did not turn into OCD), to my years playing trumpet in band, through three awesome years at the Berklëe School, to sitting here now, trying to figure out when I can squeeze in some time to practice.
My children may or may not become serious musicians. If either of them do, they may or may not be great ones. What they do have is a love of music, and part of that comes from seeing how happy it makes their father. …even if I do shame them constantly with my Yngwie moves on Friday mornings.
Unleash the fury, y’all.