Children of Music
March 4, 2014 11:49 PM   Subscribe

Victor Wooten discusses being born into a musical family in a TED talk entitled Music as a Language. In contrast, Alex Lifeson as a teenager clashes with his parents about choosing music over school in an excerpt from the documentary Come On Children.
posted by mannequito (15 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Let's Eat, Grandma.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 11:57 PM on March 4, 2014 [4 favorites]

If you watch to the end of the Alex Lifeson clashes with his parents you see that choosing music over school was the least of his problems. But I'm glad it all worked out for him financially.
posted by three blind mice at 1:10 AM on March 5, 2014

Kind of bummed this wasn't an Orff post.
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:29 AM on March 5, 2014

yeah, the Alex Lifeson one is awfully real. Nice find.
posted by philip-random at 1:34 AM on March 5, 2014

I think it's funny how most people are eager for their kids to take music lessons, but horrified if they want to become a pro musician.
posted by thelonius at 2:17 AM on March 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

I used to go see the Wooten Brothers play at 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville (they might still play there a lot). Victor usually wasn't there then, but he'd drop in sometimes. I've never seen a family that looked so naturally musical ever since. It was really quite something and this talk about it is fascinating. Thanks for posting it.
posted by dogwalker at 2:26 AM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

horrified if they want to become a pro musician

It's legitimate for a patent to be concerned about how children will make a living. Not every child can play an instrument like Alex Lifeson or Victor Wooten - and even those who do (like my daughter's violin teacher) are likely to spend their time between gigs teaching children how to play scales in order to pay the bills.

I mean can you imagine the discussion Geddy Lee had with his parents? "You? A lead singer? Are you serious? How are you ever going to earn a living?"
posted by three blind mice at 3:58 AM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

This is really weird, and great, for a couple of reasons. Most documentaries are not about people that ended up becoming famous and I think there was a brief window - maybe a decade or two - where people didn't "perform" when a camera, or several cameras were pointed at them. I enjoyed watching a functioning family too. Thanks for the post.

Anyway, because the post reminded me of the tune and it seems pertinent, Rush performing Working Man at Laura Secord Secondary School in St. Catherines, Ontario, Canada 1974.
posted by vapidave at 4:13 AM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I saw Victor Wooten perform at The Egg in Albany a couple years ago. He talked a little bit about this, and then he had his children out on stage to perform with him for a song or two. He wasn't pushing them to go into a career in music, but they were also great and seemed to have a great time.
posted by mrgoat at 6:05 AM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Given the wisdom of years, Alex now respects his parents' position.
posted by SenorJaime at 6:46 AM on March 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

I never understood the circumstances within some persons would have an amazing voice and some others wouldn't...
posted by chimikos at 6:50 AM on March 5, 2014

They had a point - finish high school, ya dummy
posted by thelonius at 7:19 AM on March 5, 2014

Two things about the Lifeson clip:

1. How calm his parents are in explaining their point of view, which is probably why he still has a good relationship with his parents. My family would have done the typical American "You are NOT giving up SCHOOL to go out and follow some stupid MUSIC DREAM!!!!!!" followed by more shouting and mom crying and followed by "HAVEN'T WE SUFFERED ENOUGH???!??!?" or something to that effect.

2. From Lifeson's perspective, sure there is luck involved in making it big, but there's also a very heavy work ethic involved as well. Every "Behind the Music" that I've watched of any band of consequence always went through the period where they were scraping by and damn near starving and playing shitty club dates before finally making it big. It's the "How bad do you really want this?" test.
posted by prepmonkey at 8:30 AM on March 5, 2014

V Wooten's thoughts on music as a language sqaure up pretty well with the ideas behind Gordon Music Learning and its concept of Audiation. The premise seems so obviously true that it's always puzzled me it hasn't found wider acceptance/application in music teaching.
posted by progosk at 2:29 PM on March 5, 2014

That is a very unfortunate name for a documentary
posted by lifethatihavenotlivedyet at 5:44 AM on March 6, 2014

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