Recently, my sons played live for the first time. My younger, 11, played a drum solo and my elder, 16, played a Black Sabbath tune with his teacher accompanying on bass. It was part of the twice yearly show that T-Rox Music Academy (where we all take lessons) puts on. This is kind of like a recital, except the students can play pretty much anything they want.
As a parent, obviously I'm totally stoked that my boys did this. It's hard, it's nerve racking, it's work but it's fun. I also admit to feeling all of their anxiety along with them. It was hard for me too. Of course, that didn't prevent some good natured ribbing. On arrival, our young drummer saw no music stand next to the kit and asked where he would put his music. My daughter and I both said, "What?!? You didn't memorize it?"
As a person interested and concerned about music, I'm really pleased too. Anybody that's worried about the future of music need not worry. The kids are learning to rock.
Which brings me to the big thing. Full disclosure time. Way back in the Stone Age, when I was in high school I became friends with a young guitarist who had charm and an infectious smile (which I tried to ignore at the time cause I was too cool). Our experience together, lugging amps for some great players stuck in the wedding/party band circuit gave us a desire to play but with no outlet. Constantly, we were told we had to "pay our dues"...
Unlike myself, Sean continued on the musical path, did a bunch of cool stuff and ultimately became one of the founders of T-Rox. It is he and his team that built this outlet for young musicians to "pay dues" and learn their craft. It is one of those very special things. The depth of which may not be immediately apparent. I, for one, am very grateful.
And yeah, I'm definitely playing in the next show and, more importantly, the boys say they will too.