Tuesday, August 7, 2007


It's occurred to me that the word "pianos" is in the title of this blog, and I haven't written a single word about them.

I suppose I should preface this with: "I'm going to talk about my life here, so if you don't care, read the blog about taco genesis. It's more interesting."

I'm against the idea of forcing your kids to do anything they don't want to, for the most part. Granted, things like bathing, wearing underpants and pooping in a toilet are probably reasonable guidelines for instructing your kids. However, when it comes to fulfilling my unrealized childhood ambitions vicariously through my children, I'm not going to be the guy bouncing a soccer ball off my 5-year-old's forehead for an hour a day because my parents didn't push me hard enough to be David Beckham. (Damnit parents! SHE'S POSH SPICE! The hot one! COME ON!)

However, if I had to vouch for one "my parents made me do it" burdenous activity, music would be at the top of the list. Even if your kid sucks at it. My mother and grandmother began a conspiracy against me when I was 6 years old by purchasing a piano. They got a crazy, red-haired Irish Catholic authoritarian to teach me. And through 11 years of getting smacked in the head by pencil waving dictators (and many other teachers, at that), I learned the piano. I'm no Mozart, but I can play.

I quit when I was 16 to learn the bass. I thought it was more "punk rock" and it would help me pick up chicks.

This is a vicious, terrible lie. To this day, a girl has NEVER, EVER, EVER come up to me and said anything remotely resembling, "Wow, your bass playing is hot. I want your baby."

In fact, I think the closest thing to a compliment I've gotten from a lady (that I wasn't already dating) about my bass playing was, "Wow, you were really spazzing out up there! Cool..."

Fortunately, God blessed me with a wonderful woman anyway, but the point is- I probably should have stuck with the piano. My mother constantly reminded me the piano is the most romantic instrument, and that it melts her heart, and women blah, blah, blah, some long rumination about the 1970's, your father this and that and the other thing, etc.

(On third thought, maybe it's best that I started playing bass after all. I could have ended up the ivory-tickling pool boy fantasy of a 50 year old Steely Dan fanatic. And granted, as appealing as that sounds, I'm happy where I'm at. Thanks all the same though, destiny. It would have made for interesting dinner table converstation.)

Anyway, the point- kids need music. Whether they just learn enough to clap on beat or they can play Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata, it's important. I'm not saying I'll beat them over the head with a piano bench (though the picture does make me chuckle), but I'll probably do a little more gentle coaxing than even my mother or grandmother did to me. And the next time I feel like rebelling against the matriarchy, I'll just stop wearing underpants and bathing instead of quitting piano for the thrills (or lack thereof) of the punk-rock bass-player lifestyle.

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