Encouraging Passion

I think a critical part of being a parent is learning how to spot your child's enthusiasm for something - and encourage it. An affinity for horses might develop into a love of riding or a veterinary career. Interest in football may turn out to be nothing more than a liking for playing "small goal" with a few friends - or your kid could be the next David Beckham. Either way, once it's a worthwhile passion (and by that I don't mean whether you deem it worthy, just that it shouldn't be counter-productive to the child's best interest), it's your job to nurture it.

Hence the reason my music-loving son (he's intrigued by the percussive stylings of some guy named Ringo Starr) has just got his first Glockenspiel. I also got him a tambourine in the spirit of creating his first drum rig of sorts. (He's already got the toy drum and there are lots of pots and pans in the house).

The Universe's brilliant sense of timing also kicked in today: No sooner had I set up the Glockenspiel than I heard the sound of drums being sound-checked. Turns out our neighbour was having a party, so we went over and had our son observe the goings-on. The drummer was really gracious - told him that Ringo Starr was a fine drummer and even offered him a go on the kit. And the bonus? He gives lessons! So if my son's interest sustains, we've found someone to teach him.

After many years of my playing rhythm guitar in bands, a friend asked me today, "The drums? Are you ready for that?" I laughed, considering the noise factor and said, "Maybe not." But you know what? Why not? Especially if he loves it.

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