And Now For Something Different …

Posted: February 6, 2010 in Creativity and / or The Arts, Gen Y, Music, Teaching or Mentoring
Tags: , ,
Tuesday, September 16, 2008 (8:30am)
And Now For Something Completely Different…

A couple of days ago I was looking at one of my student’s blogs. She had put her ipod on shuffle and then picked obscure lyrics from the songs that were the first 10 and put them up to see if people could identify them. Most of them were from bands who’s members are younger than most of my guitars. The only one that probably should have looked vaguely familiar, given my ancient age was “the girl with kaleidoscope eyes” (Ok you old farts… certainly you know this one.)

The scary thing was not only did I know all the bands, even if I was fuzzy on a few of the titles of the songs… but I actually knew the lyrics. Of course this particular student has a similar brain to mine and it’s not too surprising that she would have written those particular lyrics down. Hopefully she will be able to mock her friends sufficiently that the really old chick knew more than they did.

But the bigger lesson for me was a reminder about how much I learn from my students and how much my life is better because they almost force me to continue learning. I had lunch with one of my former students the other day… she’s a senior in high school now and she asked me if I ever learned things from my students and it made me start thinking about it.

I think as we start getting older we tend to fall back on the familiar, partially because it’s easier or we’re too tired to care. What was it that Bob Dylan said…???? “I used to care, but things have changed.” But my students show up with new music week after week they are excited about. Sometimes at first listen my brain screams “why in the world would ANYONE like this stuff?!????” But because I care about them and most of them do have functional brains, my next thought is… let me listen to this more and see what it is about this that is making them so excited. I start listening with different ears. Thanks to them I definitely have eclectic taste in music now. Some of the music that is being produced by this generation is amazing for various reasons. Disco was the soundtrack of my generation in our teens and twenties… how horrible is that? Granted, some of the music being produced now is horrible either because of it’s lyrical content or it’s annoying music (don’t get me started on most rap and hip-hop) but some of it is wonderful too. So on the music front I decided to put up some music on my myspace page occasionally that might be different for some of you who are a little older, but is an example of what your kids or younger friends might be listening to. Visitors to this blog can find my myspace page at : http://myspace.com/lindabsplace

For me though, the take away for today is that my students … your kids … their generation … is so worth listening to. Our relationships with them are so important. We need to take the time to dive into their worlds more and find out what is important to them and why and to assume there might be value in it because we value them. It’s not just music… it’s their other interests too. This generation more than any in a long time has really embraced their parent’s culture in a lot of ways. Most of my guitar students love some of the same things I loved when I was in jr. high and high school musically. And while those of us who are products of the 70s are still pretty much the “ME” generation in a lot of ways… preoccupied with our lives and our interests, and not very interested in investing in their lives… a lot of their generation actually believes they can make a difference in the world and each other’s lives. It does my heart good to see that.

So if the music on my myspace page seems a little weird from time to time, take a few minutes to listen. And whenever you get a chance, take the time to listen to and enjoy your own kids too with fresh eyes and ears. They are an amazing bunch. You can tell them I said so.

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