Friday, October 21, 2005

Parents with Artistic Children

As you might guess, my children (Helen and Stephanie) are pretty musical. While neither of them is taking an instrument right now, they are always around music and the theater. Like my brother (Craig) and I, they are growing up in a home where the arts is respected and is often part of the fabric of our days.

When I was a kid, my parents had one of those big console stereos. Remember those? It was a credenza with a pop-up lid where the phonograph and the radio were hidden. The speakers were at either end of the credenza. I thought it was so cool and I loved going down to our playroom to open the lid and fiddle with the buttons. Even then, I was displaying a technological bent that would eventually serve me well as a musician/producer!

Mom and Dad loved musical theater, so our home was often full of the sounds of a Broadway show. Everyone sang along with their favorites - Fiddler on the Roof, Camelot, My Fair Lady - and, especially, The Music Man. My parents also played what was popular: Beatles, Dionne Warwick, Barbara Streisand, Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. By osmosis, then, Craig and I got a pretty good musical education that featured excellent songwriters and wonderful performers.

It was also during these years that we joined a community theater group called The Harrison Players. Since my parents met when they both were acting in summer stock productions, it was natural for them to continue their interest in drama. My dad was more of a straight actor. I remember seeing old posters and publicity photos from his acting days. He was a handsome man, rail thin and I'm sure he had no problem "taking up the stage" with his presence. My mom was and is very funny. She played the heck out of Adelaide in Guys and Dolls a couple of times. I was very proud of my parents growing up. I idolized them, so it was very painful when they divorced when I was only twelve. Up until then, we all took part in the productions. Craig and I first played newsboys in Gypsy. Good times full of happy memories. I'm sure we both learned a lot that we still apply in our careers.

So, as a parent I'm aware that my children are getting an education just by being around us. We've been taking them to our shows since they were in Beth's womb! Do they always enjoy coming to our shows? No, of course they don't. They usually moan when we say they have to accompany us. Go figure. There's a few good reasons why they don't like it: they "lose" their parents to other kids and they've heard our songs a million times. Also, we probably embarass Helen. She's eleven and you know how middle school kids are! Stephanie, who is six, will sometimes come on stage with us, but only if Helen's not around.

I'm okay with the fact that my kids don't idolize me. It would probably be unhealthy for them and I also see them as very independent artists on their own. They are constantly making up stories with their friends or drawing or making videos and presenting shows to us. In other words, they have a healthy, creative side that they express when and how they want to. I learned early on - don't force them to do the arts. One sure way to turn them off is to make them do something that should be fun. They'll arrive on their terms, not mine.


1 comment:

eco lodge said...

Congratulation amazing article about Parents with Artistic Children. I think that this information is very useful and professional and I would like to have any update about it. I´m going to read another blog, thanks for sharing!!!