I started a Youtube page when the boys first started playing in public places and spaces (which happened totally by accident). If at some point they want to use this and the Youtube/Vimeo space (or whatever else is available) for everything from band camp to Berklee… they’ll look back on their journey and see how much they’ve evolved as musicians, singers and songwriters (especially the Dude, who began writing his own compositions at age 6 on both guitar and piano)
Their journey started when my identical twin sister gave The Duo a guitar for Christmas when they were 4. It was a great Yamaha FG1 for youth. Nick has outgrown that guitar and doesn’t know it yet, but he’s getting a Fender Squier HSS Stratocaster for his 7th birthday in a few weeks.
Immediately, both Nick and Alex started taking in-home acoustic guitar lessons. Alex quickly decided guitar wasn’t for him, but Nick was fascinated. I wasn’t enthralled with his instructor, however, who was a great guitarist but had a tough time teaching my kids because he didn’t have a lot of experience teaching children.
Last year, through a good friend whose son is musically gifted, I found a great teacher for Nick and he has soared ever since. Imagine my surprise when last October he composed his first song “Madelyn’s Song”. It’s really beautiful, and he was able to write down the notes on paper, as well as commit the song to memory. It will always be my favorite song he ever wrote, because he was only 6 and 1/2 when he wrote it. And, because it’s beautiful. His classmate, Madelyn, is his muse. He loves her and writes every original composition for her.
So how was Alex (the Duder) going to be entertained? Well, he has a limited attention span… so I knew bashing on the drums would suit him. I was totally right. He has an amazing drum teacher who is in quite a few excellent bands, has an ECE teaching degree, and has put him on the right path to learning. I’m very grateful because music allows both of the boys the ability to express their feelings where words cannot take them. It also keeps them busy!
They started playing in public by accident. Last Thanksgiving we were invited to a Thanksgiving dinner. We lost power at the dinner and Nick just happened to have his guitar in the car. He asked me if he could play it. The hosts (close friends) said, “Of course!” Nick sat and played almost all afternoon until the power finally came on. He was the entertainment… and the musicians sitting at that table invited him to start playing at the Open Mike night he now frequents.
They were that impressed with his discipline and devotion to music and to his guitar (I digress, but he’s also picked up piano and is equally disciplined and devoted to piano also). He was invited to play at the Open Mike event, and the rest is history. If I let them, they would play every Thursday. I try and let them play only during school vacations or when a few weeks have passed.
Nick and two new original compositions he wrote: Racerback and Love Song. He wrote a 3rd song, Snow Day, on that same day.