Sunday, June 12, 2011

Fun for all ages

Do you ever see some new toy out on the market and wish you could be a kid again so you could play with it?

This happens to me now and again. I don't have much use for Wii games as an adult, but eight-year-old me would have been all over them. I hate texting, but the ability to surreptitiously pass notes to friends in different classes—or at different schools—would have been the height of entertainment in elementary school.

Last night's gig evoked a little of that feeling. A guy who works where Ron the Drummer gives drum lessons set up an open mic, inviting both students and teachers at the music school to perform. Cinder Bridge started things off with a half hour set, and then Ron and I sat back to watch the other performers. The youngest participant, karaokeing her way through "Hard Knock Life," looked to be around seven.

Man, why didn't anyone set up kid-friendly open mics when I was a kid? My piano teacher held a recital every year, but that was a serious, formal dress-up affair, and most of the students were kids. How fun would it have been to perform just because you felt like it that weekend? To share the stage with confident adults, and aspire to be as good as them someday?

The hitch, of course, would be the parents. They might enjoy driving their offspring to an open mic as a one-off. They might not want to hear showtunes performed by little kids every week.

Come to think of it, my parents probably wouldn't have bought us a Wii if they'd existed when I was in first grade. And no way would they have let me bring a cell phone to school.

A hard knock life indeed.

Seriously, though, it would be nice if kids could make their own entertainment this way. Actively participate in creative culture rather than just parking themselves in front of the TV and becoming passive consumers.

It would be nice if I could go back in time and do that.


Jannie Funster said...

Yes, all too easy to park them in front of the tv.

These days you have to work harder as a parent to keep them creative. But it can be done, albeit it often with a little "opposition" from the young one. But they are grateful, in the long run they got away from the tube.


cinderkeys said...

Yeah, our parents had it a little easier. I would have happily watched TV all day if allowed, except that my viewing choices were limited. Aside from a few PBS kiddie shows and Saturday morning cartoons, all the shows were boring. Now there are whole stations dedicated to keeping kids glued to the set.