Playing music with children
This pretty much sums up every time I try to play guitar while my children are around. My daughter is almost five and my son almost two, and their musical tastes tend to be very different from my own. Stop playing daddy, and turn on Sesame Street songs…
Hopefully this will change as they grow older and learn to play music themselves. I expect whatever progress is made in the intervening years will be crushed by the time they become teenagers. The stuff kids listen to these days is bound only to get worse a decade from now. Part of that is my fault, I realize. I will be increasingly out-of-touch. Another part of it is the fault of the music industry, however, which has been out-of-touch with quality for a long, long time.
This is due primarily to the real villains – the audience, and especially young people – who are too busy rebelling or being different to pay much attention to quality. “It’s your fault, you’re still young, there’s so much you have to go through,” Cat Stevens sings. I never understood that line until I became a curmudgeonly old man. Now I shout ‘get off my lawn’ metaphors inside my head all the time.
But when I pick up a guitar it feels a lot like liquid joy. I hope at least that I can pass on that addicting transcendent sensation to my kids. Music is important. A crucial piece of our humanity and civilization, even if the vast majority of it is still crap. Better crap music than no music.