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Did you get musical encouragement from your parents?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by SBassman, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Someone mentioned not getting much musical encouragement from their parents, and I thought it would be an interesting separate thread topic.

    Me? My parents explicitly discouraged it. They likened musical life to the life of a degenerate. Took me a few years into adulthood to stop resenting that.

    What about you?
  2. Same here.

    I resent it still. It took me a long time to build up the self-esteem and confidence on my own to be a practicing musician. I now make a decent living with music only, but I lost decades as the result of my parents' discouragement, wasting time at dead-end occupations, things I did not do as well or love as much as music.

    I will wonder, "What if I had been encouraged and supported in my love of music as a child?" until the day I die. My parents and I have never been close, and we never will be.

    Before anyone gives me that "forgiveness" speech, I'll respectfully ask you to just save it. I've gone round and round about this long enough, and I've put the issue to rest.

    Here's some undeniable advice that I can give without reservation: Parents, give your children every opportunity to do what they are passionate about and every opportunity to develop their natural talents, no matter how far-fetched you might think it is, and give them your encouragement, support, and acceptance. Just keep the negativity to yourself. After all, someone becomes the musician (or substitute any endeavor) in this world, right? Why not your child? Did they somehow lose the lottery just because of your insecurities and pessimism? No.
  3. Not at all. I actually started on guitar because my parents refused to let me get drums. Even then, they resisted along the way and seemed to hope I'd quit. Strangely, they encouraged my brother and always like to remind their friends that he plays in a metal band. They seem to forget that I'm in a band. :eyebrow: I kid you not.
  4. discouragement
  5. preside


    Aug 7, 2010
    Scottsdale Az
    I got lots of encouragement, even to the point of being allowed to go to music school for a year till I decided that was not going to work for me. I feel very fortunate for the support I got , actually I kind of wish I had been a less stressful kid, especially for my mom's sake.
  6. elgecko


    Apr 30, 2007
    Anasleim, CA
    At first? Yes, they forced me to start piano lessons at seven. By the time I got to high school, they would threaten taking me out of band when I got bad grades...which was often. :atoz: My parents figured the whole music thing was a phase. It was...one exceedingly long, multi-decade phase! :p
  7. echoSE7EN


    Jul 1, 2010
    Balto., MD
    I wanted to take martial arts. My folks made me an offer...martial arts if I joined the band. My older brother played the trumpet, so, they bought me a mouthpiece and we shared. Then they rented. Then they purchased.

    I started in the 5th grade. By sophomore year I was first chair for concert band. Also played in the pep band, marching band, and jazz band. Before I graduated HS I could play every brass instrument (besides) the trombone. Had taken 5 years of piano lessons, and had 6 months of guitar lessons under my belt. I don't think I had thrown a punch since the sixth grade.

    I'm on the wrong side of 30 now, and play at least one instrument once a day. I haven't thrown a punch since junior year of college...16 years ago.

    My older brother went on to march DCI with the Cavaliers. My younger brother was the show choir/band drummer at Purdue. So yeah...we were encouraged quite a bit. However, we we very discouraged from anything along the lines of football. I played tennis. My brothers played golf and ran track. I guess my folks feared injury.
  8. Oneirogenic


    Nov 10, 2009
    I was encouraged to play music but not to the detriment of living a "real life". My parents were neutral about it I guess. They tried to keep me realistic about it, and that was a smart way to go about it. They wanted me to happy but also successful.
  9. hdracer


    Feb 15, 2009
    Elk River, MN.
    My mother was a music teacher.
    I was thrust into music from my youngest days.
    From the 3rd grade on I was in band and orchestra. It took up a lot of time that I would have liked to use playing sports or hanging out with friends.
    Do you have any idea how un cool it was to be walking around school in the late 60's with a violin, a cello or a french horn?
    When I turned 17 I gave it up and started pursuing things I wanted to do.
    It wasn't until I turned 50 that I came back to music.

    I never pushed anything on my children. I would encourage them in their interests and try to get them into music. After my youngest got into playing it sparked my interest into getting back into it.
  10. CyborgLemon


    Dec 14, 2012
    Ohh man...I asked my father for guitar lessons when I was 15. his response was "Do you know what happens to girls who get into a band? They do drugs and sleep around with boys." :eek:

    I really do think if my parents would have encouraged me then, I would have been an amazing bass guitarist by now.

    Its been just 2 months since I have picked up my bass guitar. My family doesnt even like the sound when I practice. Had few fights with my bro over this.

    Everyday, its a battle but I try to avoid it. Try to practice when my family isnt in a mood to argue over my practice schedule.
  11. Yerf Dog

    Yerf Dog

    Jun 29, 2009
    Carol Stream, IL
    They bought me a guitar (which I still have) and lessons when I was around ten. Of course the lessons just discouraged me and I wasn't into popular music at the time.

    Didn't get back into guitar until I was a teenager. Still going strong at 47. Picked up bass a few years back.
  12. klyph


    Mar 28, 2009
    Everything was cool until I told dad my back-up plan was stand-up comedy. Luckily the phone was nearby; I couldn't dial 911 fast enough!

    Just kidding.

    My parents didn't actively discourage me, but also didn't really allow me to pursue it as I wished. Instead of letting me go to the Arts school I got into, I was forced into scholarship positions at private schools where I was mostly just bullied for being poor and unathletic (no, there was no music program to speak of). On the one hand, I received a first rate classical education. On the other hand, the boredom and resentment I felt made me a lousy college student (gigging and partying everynight didn't help, either). I got over it, but I wish I had finished college when it was so cheap, comparatively. I hear you, EC, I lost some years, too, but I have made some amends with my folks. Nobody's perfect.
  13. MatticusMania

    MatticusMania LANA! HE REMEMBERS ME!

    Sep 10, 2008
    Pomona, SoCal
    Kind of similar for me...

    At 10 years old I wanted to play the drums. No dice.
    My parents made me take clarinet at school, that lasted a semester.
    At 15 I was into writing and I joined a band as a vocalist.
    At 17 I took up the bass. I had some encouragment from my Dad, who bought my first bass and amp.

    No resentment here, my parents just didnt understand my connection to music, and its all on me to do what I want.

    Im going to suggest you get some headphones.
  14. mkandolf


    Nov 21, 2007
    Saint Clair, MI
    I was given a clarinet to play in 5th grade and after 6 weeks when I couldn't get good tone out fo that, they gave me the trombone. Got good with that but then it became a problem going to concerts and getting to practices and such so they pretty much tried to put on the brakes. But I liked playing so I got to practices and concerts any way I could, mostly by arranging rides with other kids' parents.

    Got in to high school and got involved in everything musical at that school I could and the band director became my surrogate dad. Parents never went to one thing I played in and didn't want to hear about it either. Big slap in the face when they went to everything my two sisters did years later. To this day they don't want to hear about anything I do. Sadly it's much more than just about music.
  15. Topspin

    Topspin What's my name again?

    Dec 15, 2010
    I played Tom Sawyer with a pick once. Shame on me.
    I didn't come from a musical family. My parents encouraged me when I showed interest, but I had to buy all my musical equipment myself (I used to have a bad habit of not taking the best care of my stuff...). I resented it for years, but I now appreciate the fact that I worked for all the equipment I own, and I quickly learned the value of taking care of your possessions.

    I do wish I'd been able to take lessons from the beginning, DIY musical training wasn't easy or time efficient. :meh:
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Not so much encouraged but definitely not discouraged. Mom kinda did a 'let's see how this goes'! When she saw I was getting pretty good she offered some encouragement. Watched me from a distance. Took pics and I never knew she was there.
  17. Super supportive and encouraging, I would say almost to a fault. It did lead to having the capability to work on and develop an original project from my teens all through my 20s, including free to semi-free rehearsal space, donated band vehicles and repairs, many instruments, etc. The downside is that nobody really led me to believe that I would need to do anything to develop a career outside of music, which I didn't until in my 30s, and it's been a tough climb out of the semi-success of being a working musician. Hasn't all been bad, but I don't think I'd do it the same way with my kids.
  18. JFOC


    Oct 23, 2010
    new hampShire
    I got my first guitar from my Dad when I was 12...Unfortunately due to a house fire the guitar was lost & I didn't pick it up again until I was 18. I did inherit my dads 1970s telecaster however.
  19. at 14 I started wanting to play bass. it was always no. finally got a cort Pbass for my 16th birthday. Then a year of begging for lessons. My mom said as long as I keep taking my lessons she'll keep paying for them. 6 months later she no longer wanted to pay for them. I kept up with paying for them myself for a while longer but don't think I quite made it to the year mark.
  20. BBox Bass

    BBox Bass Supporting Member

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Pennsylvania
    My mom had been pushed hard by her father to play fiddle, and she hated it, so she made a concerted effort to not do the same thing to me and my brother. Whenever we showed an interest, my parents supplied us with the means and let us do our thing. They rented band instruments in grade school and junior high, then bought me a guitar and paid for piano lessons in high school. The best thing was the bass I found under the Christmas tree in my junior year.