Thursday, July 28, 2016

Interactive Gig with Kids

Yesterday right after work I caught a ride with Hardingfele and another bandmate to our gig at a park in a lower-income area. Food carts come every Wednesday evening, and the residents get vouchers to get free dinners for an “Eat Out” event that is supposed to bring people together, but the organizer said the food cart people are getting frustrated because nobody ever comes who can pay full price. If, like me, you had never heard of this event, how could you have come? They are competing against Concerts on the Square, which is where all the middle-class white people are on a Wednesday evening in the summer. Also, most of the people at this event were kids, and why would they want to hang around with me or any other middle-aged person? It seems to me the target audience for this event should be middle-class people with children, so all the kids can mingle together over food cart dinners. The kids mostly ignored us as we played folk music from Europe and white America – I am guessing their taste runs more to current hip hop – but once we finished, Hardingfele encouraged the kids to come play our instruments, so then they were very interested. I wasn’t sure how crazy I was about having a bunch of kids handle my beloved Mandy, and to my surprise the girls were rougher than the boys, but I think they were also a little younger. The girls just tried to play Mandy as loudly as they could, but a couple of the boys were really interested, asking, “Is that a banjo?” and trying to put their fingers down on the strings to change the notes. One boy who was quite a bit older, maybe 14, got a REALLY good sound out of Hardingfele’s violin. I am impressed that a kid who has never touched a violin before has such an instinct for how much pressure to apply to the bow! He said his previous musical instrument experience was all with drums. I hope we made an impression on these kids, and that at least a few of them will now have an interest in learning a musical instrument. What could be better than transmitting my love of music to the next generation? Maybe I missed my calling, and I should have been a music teacher.

Famous Hat

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