Does growing up in a musical family make you a better musician?

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by w3stie, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. SiennaBurst50

    SiennaBurst50 TDPRI Member

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    I'll say it typically doesn't hurt....
     
  2. klasaine

    klasaine Poster Extraordinaire

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    In 'general' ... of course. It's the exposure early on and continually. Not a hard and fast rule but 'it couldn't hurt'. Most of the pros I know at least had particularly cultured parents. Even if they didn't play music they listened, went to concerts, read, were into art, travel, etc. The arts were important.

    My father was a professional musician (his father wasn't ... ?), my brother could have been (he's an art director instead), I am and my 2 year old can already distinguish a few instruments and recognize a few melodies sans the kid lyrics (literally he just handed me a Mozart CD to put on - scary, but he hears music all day so ...).
    Since I grew up with music around me continually both listening and playing it was never a big deal to 'practice'. Also (and thank you pops!) he made me and my brother improvise immediately. We had jam sessions all the time. Dad on piano, my bro on trumpet and me on guitar.
    *This was also the early 70's. Kids were INTO music. everybody in the neighborhood took 'some' kind of lessons. How many kids now go over to their friends house to 'listen to records' (and trade baseball cards - lol).
     
  3. w3stie

    w3stie Poster Extraordinaire

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    Seeing as I was doing some research, I looked for journals on the impact of the family environment on musical ability. The consensus is not surprising; supportive and encouraging family environments are a major influence on kids growing into a lifelong love of music. As some have pointed out here though, it does not guarantee musical success. We sent both our sons to piano lessons from a very early age, but neither my wife nor I played piano or played music at home. Neither of them continued on with music. I wonder whether TV watching is a factor?
     
  4. tpaul

    tpaul Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't know, but I'll tell you this, if my cat had a litter in the oven, I wouldn't necessarily call 'em biscuits.

    Not sure what that has to do with the thread, but it's a great line.
     
  5. Oakville Dave

    Oakville Dave Friend of Leo's

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    It can't hurt!! I did and it certainly burgeoned my love for music at a very early age. I don't know what it's like to not be surrounded by music, so even though it may have no practical effect on my playing, it sure has been a constant in my life.
     
  6. Freejack

    Freejack Friend of Leo's

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    My dad practiced the trumpet and he let me take it to school to learn how to play it. But he was a news station junkie, no music and he didn't play for us. Mom however was into music. One album I remember seeing was The Ink Spots but I remember Marty Robbins and crooners like Rouvian(sp).

    My brother plays guitar, I'm now learning guitar, my daughter took music classes too.

    Carl
     
  7. Duncas

    Duncas Friend of Leo's

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    my mother played flute (pretty good actually) my Dad is in no way musically inclined. at all. he can barely tell the difference between guitar and bass. my brother is amazing at keyboard (passed 3 grades with full marks) and i play guitar and brass classical. my younger brother is abit of a "jock" and plays sports instead of music.

    i want to expose my kids to all types of music and encourage playing from a young age.
     
  8. Cunningham26

    Cunningham26 Tele-Meister

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    my dad spent thousands on baseball gloves and bats and i hated every minute of it.

    i dont know how i would have turned out if he'd bought me a bunch of guitars. hopefully not playing baseball!
     
  9. axeornot

    axeornot Tele-Meister

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    +1. Two excellent examples in the world of guitar - Tommy Emmanuel & Lenny Breau. They were on both on stage when they were very young. There's also been some discussion about them both realizing that drawing a crowd meant approval from their showman fathers.
     
  10. Mike Bruce

    Mike Bruce Friend of Leo's

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    Being from a musical family sure helped me, and I think generally it can be so for others. Lots of choir experience, private voice and piano lessons, music camps, and music classes for all of us, plus Mum could sight read on piano very well and Dad was a composer of liturgical and choral music. We were encouraged to study music seriously and enjoy it recreationally. We were also taught other things with musical rhymes and rhythms.

    Our parents got music into our brains very early, got us hooked as we were developing into toddlers. It was too late to change before we even got to school. It was fun, and it was one of the things we loved about each other, and one of the reasons we remain close today, 50+ years later.
     
  11. imsilly

    imsilly Friend of Leo's

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    I wouldn't know my dad was a drummer.
     
  12. TucsonTele

    TucsonTele Tele-Meister

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    My father was an accountant and my playing ability reflects this fact. Enough said.
     
  13. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    My Dad was a great violinist, and he always played beautiful music at home.
    My Mom loved musicals, like Carousel and My Fair Lady, so we heard lots of great stuff.
    My parents encouraged our love of music, and made sure my sisters and I had stereos and all the records we wanted.
    It helped me immeasurably.
    My sisters took piano lessons, and I got guitar lessons.
    I am deeply grateful for the "musical family" I came from.
     
  14. Burnt Gerbil

    Burnt Gerbil Tele-Meister

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    I think it depends on the individual. I'm sure there are genetic traits that contribute to musical ability, but I doubt it is the predominant factor. As has been stated, motivation and practice are the biggest factors.

    I'd say a someone with musical family's biggest advantage would be early accessibility. Someone with musically inclined parents won't be the type to forbid musical practice for fear of getting in the way of academics or something. Music would probably be encouraged by parents who respect and appreciate it. I know I'm one of the younger posters here, and can't speak from the perspective of a parent, but when I know when I started playing my dad was very excited, I expect because it was a new shared interest between us. I'd imagine some of the parents here would have a similar reaction. My kids will certainly have readily available instruments in case the have any interest.

    I'm certainly not a great player, but do come from a musical background that ranges anywhere from country-neighbor-backyard sort of gatherings, to church piano/organ playing, all the way to multi-platinum sales. My biggest regret being that, though I owned a guitar from as early as I can remember, I never expressed any interest until my late teens. I feel like I caught on to the basics more easily than some others (often hearing things like "I would have guessed you'd been playing for longer than x years"), but I've had to work as hard as anyone else to pick up on anything past the minimum. I had similar experiences with other instruments I've since lost interest in; I was the first chair Viola in my middle school orchestra, took piano lessons, dabbled with drums- the basics clicked fast, but guitar was the only instrument I felt compelled to stick with past it's most basic point. My younger brother is even better at picking up instruments than I am, he just has yet to find one he really sticks with- saxophone seems to be winning for him.

    But some of the best players I've known didn't have families that played, but rather busted their asses and worked their way up for years and years.
     
  15. Nick JD

    Nick JD Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    My Mum bought my first guitar for my 12th birthday.

    She went in and played them all and picked the one with the best tone. I have a bad feeling she was in that music store singing Hava Nagila, or A Hard Days Night until the guy gave her a discount just to get her out of there.

    I've still got the guitar and it seems tone is in the 23rd chromosome.
     
  16. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. Lots of good examples in this thread already.

    Years ago, I had an opportunity to teach a three year old girl how to play guitar. Normally I don't teach children that young, but her father and grandfather were both professional musicians, and she had several older brothers and sisters who played music too. It turned out that almost everyone in that family had perfect pitch as well.

    One day before her lesson I was watching my 3 year old student tune her guitar with a pitch pipe, and her 6 year old brother came over, plopped down on the floor next to her and said, "That's b-flat, stupid!"

    When you're 3 years old, a 6 year old brother who calls you names when you're out of tune will either force you to hear, or force you to quit.

    I'm not sure that it's necessary or if it's even desirable, but it's undeniable that it helps...
     
  17. Liamf

    Liamf Tele-Meister

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    It can help but not always. 2 of my friends have parents who play instruments and they have gone in to learn guitar, they're good but not brilliant whereas my sisters boyfriend plays 6 instruments has a degree in music, has 3 other siblings all of who play in bands(some resonably major bands) and yet their parents do not play any instruments at all.
     
  18. DrumBob

    DrumBob -------------------------

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    I think it does help to have family who are musicians, not only for the inherent talent, but for the fact that they might better understand a musician's way of doing things better than non-musicians.
     
  19. jjkrause84

    jjkrause84 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I come from a wholly unmusical family. I didn't even know I LIKED music until I was 16. Oh, yeah....it's been an uphill battle. I not an overly jealous man but I AM very jealous of people that come from musical families. My friend (my ex, really) was on stage singing from the time she was 7 or so. Her mother toured all over France in a bluegrass band and plays violin and accordion very well. Time spent with them is always fun, though. :D

    My goal in life is to leave those who I am to teach and raise in a better situation than I was. I strive to make my students better than me, and if I procreate it'll be the same with my kids. They'll grow up in an intellectually stimulating environment, lots of books and intelligent discourse*, but ALSO lots of music. I'm a total black sheep, so I'll make my own family into a whole herd of'em! ;)


    * Fun story: My friend from high school and his wife came over when I was last home in California with their baby girl....just less than a year old. She started making sounds that will clearly be speech in just a few short months and I was shocked/thrilled! I blurted out, "Oh, wow! She's already making vocalizations!?" My little sister just looked at me and cracked up...told me I'd be a horrible parent. :lol:
     
  20. Skub

    Skub Friend of Leo's

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    There was always music in our house when I was growing up,from the radio and old records,but neither my parents nor my older sister played any instrument.

    There was never a television in the house right up until I left in my early twenties,my indoor entertainment came from reading,playing guitar and an insatiable appetite for listening to all kinds of music. My folks encouraged my playing and bought me keyboards and guitars,which they could ill afford.

    On the flipside of my particular coin,both my wife and I play,but none of our three children did up until a few years ago when the middle lad took up the bass completely out of the blue. He's now out playing in a band and totally immersed in the world of the bass.

    If it's in you,then it's in you.
     
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