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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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I’ve been working on a song with my grand daughter over the past week or so. She turns 8 in a few weeks.

She has a little Hello Kitty Karaoke machine we gave her for X-mas a couple of years back and she still uses it a lot.

We connect it to the big screen and audio system and it sounds not bad.

Lately she has been sort of obsessed with a song by Vance Joy, called Riptide.

After hearing her sing it a few dozen times, it burned itself into my brain to the extent that I spent the five minutes needed to learn it on the guitar (simple song, four chords and a capo on the sixth fret)

I walked into the room as she was singing to the karaoke track and started playing along with it. My wife muted the Karaoke and she continued singing along with me seamlessly.

That was last week. Since then she has asked me each day after school and again yesterday if I would practice it with her.

The difference in her singing with the guitar when compared to the karaoke track is fundamental and dramatic. She seems much more able to stay on time and on pitch

She has a talent show at her school this Friday and has asked if I would go there and play the song with her.

Dang, I’m welling up just typing this.

Is this a sign of hope that maybe someday people will return to actual music as opposed to auto-tune, computer based music?

Anyway, yes, I’ll be taking a few hours off work this Friday for the most important gig I have ever played.
 

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I have tried to get my grandkids interested in something like this. Two of them like to listen to me play but don’t have any interest in playing or singing themselves. I have high hopes for the youngest one. She is two and often makes up songs and sings them to express what she is thinking. When I play guitar she wants to play one of my other ones but she is too young to even hold it and grasp the fret board. I keep an old beater acoustic in an open tuning so she can lay it on her lap and strum. I hope that one day I get to play a gig with her as you are doing. You are a very lucky man.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks Kerry,

I also have a mentally challenged daughter (26 years old) who loves music passionately. She’s like a child in an adult’s body in many ways.

I bought her a Simon and Patrick parlour sized guitar and keep it tuned to an open tuning so she can strum along to any song that pops into her mind.

She loves it and seeing her play it gives me a feeling you can’t buy.
 

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Just a gentle reminder for your elementary-school gig: They generally don't have mosh pits, so keep the stage-diving in your back pocket. And for heaven's sake, STAY CLEAR OF THE GROUPIES!

I'm reminded of a 1966 show by The Doors at a Connecticut high school, briefly uploaded to the Sugarmegs site, but since taken down. The school principal begins the show by saying "Boys and girls, we have some special guests with us here today, so I want you to be on your very best behavior". Been a while since I heard it, but I think The Doors were on theirs as well.

But seriously, we tend to neglect - at our peril - the magic moments and opportunities we have to pass on both love of music and making it, and music as a connection across generations. When kids are young, sometimes merely singing an entire song is as close to a big accomplishment as they have experienced.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just a gentle reminder for your elementary-school gig: They generally don't have mosh pits, so keep the stage-diving in your back pocket. And for heaven's sake, STAY CLEAR OF THE GROUPIES!

I'm reminded of a 1966 show by The Doors at a Connecticut high school, briefly uploaded to the Sugarmegs site, but since taken down. The school principal begins the show by saying "Boys and girls, we have some special guests with us here today, so I want you to be on your very best behavior". Been a while since I heard it, but I think The Doors were on theirs as well.

But seriously, we tend to neglect - at our peril - the magic moments and opportunities we have to pass on both love of music and making it, and music as a connection across generations. When kids are young, sometimes merely singing an entire song is as close to a big accomplishment as they have experienced.
LOL, no stage dives? Ok, then.

My mission is to make this a positive and exciting memory for her. We as adult musician know well how effective preparation is in instilling confidence in a performance. I want her to get that message.

I'm working with her as I would with another musician but of course in a more gentle and calm way.

The fondest memories I have of my Dad (who is still very much alive and gigging) are all of songs he used to sing in our home and at parties when I was growing up.

If I can be a tiny fraction of that to my grand daughter and kids I'll consider my life well spent.

What I really like about this is that it isn't forced or contrived. It's something both Laura and I are excited to do.
 

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What a great story. We are so blessed as grand parents and having a grand child enjoying signing or playing with you puts it over the top. We have been fortunate to have both our granddaughters performing at our family Christmas party for the last few years and cant say how much this means to us.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
What a great story. We are so blessed as grand parents and having a grand child enjoying signing or playing with you puts it over the top. We have been fortunate to have both our granddaughters performing at our family Christmas party for the last few years and cant say how much this means to us.
I hear that Mark and thanks.

It's no secret that as we get older we tend to get more emotional. Like many men, I have the crusty exterior and the sentimental and emotional interior which is very close to the surface.

If I can hear Laura's schoolmates cheering for her after she sings...…..
 

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I always knew you were cool Milkman, but this thread clinches it.

I never had a grandfather, but if I had, be that he was like you.
 

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Grandkids maybe the only perk to not getting any younger. Def' the best.

Unusual song choice. Can't wait for the gig video. (Tour t-shirts?)

All Hallows' Eve brought a special treat for me this year. At, "Two & a half.", she's showing interest too. Made my heart swell, when I asked, 'Well which guitar do you want to try?' She looked at me like I was kinda slow, and said, "All of them."
(Can you spot me a kleenex?)
Congrat's, and enjoy the Big Gig.


Princess Wiggles wonders why they put the 'beavehole' on the wrong bout.

(For old shoulders, those beaveholes are a substantial comfort option. Even on the wrong bout.)

Awesome Monday am post Milkman. Thx
Very nice. I remember sitting with my Grand daughter and letting her try, one by one, every instrument in my room. It took more than an hour and not many have had that opportunity.
 

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So good. And yes, read it to my wife & we’re both welling up.
Congrats Milk, please post the video of the performance? (I’m SURE someone will take one at a elementary school concert)

You’re a good egg Milkman, magic.
 
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Discussion Starter #15
So good. And yes, read it to my wife & we’re both welling up.
Congrats Milk, please post the video of the performance? (I’m SURE someone will take one at a elementary school concert)

You’re a good egg Milkman, magic.

Thanks man. Believe me, this is not about me. I'll do anything I can to make this a happy experience for Laura.

Yes, my wife will be shooting video and hopefully stills. I'm going down to the music store today to borrow a little self contained amp that I can use for her voice and my guitar.

We get one shot at a nice performance so I want to have a little control over the mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for the kind words and encouragement.

I'll definitely bore you all with pictures and clips.

The picture in this post is from a few years ago. She supported me at a gig, now I get to back her up.

IMG_6665.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #18
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LOL, well it turns out the talent show is a few weeks off.

This Friday is just her class.

That gives us more tme to practice.

We tried out the little Traynor acoustic guitar / Mic amp last night so she can get used to a proper mic which was no problem for her as she uses a little karaoke system already.

Sounds better every time we run through it.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Maybe pick up a few new tunes in the meantime?
So that she doesn't get bored of the current one before the show?
Absolutely!

She loves Creep by Radiohead (as do I) so yes, we’ll work on a few songs.

LOL, maybe I’m having a senior moment, but this is so cool.

Sometimes we all get in ruts. Lately I have had little to motivate me in terms of a musical project.

This is something positive to look forward to and to distract me from the relentless realities of life.

When I look over and see her smile after we finish a run through.......
 
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