ACL Musicians Save You From Justin Bieber

Growing Up Austin - Courtyard Hounds

Courtyard Hounds make music with Emily Erwin and Martie Maguire’s kids on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage

Like I said yesterday when we talked about practice/inspiration, and the day before that when we talked about lullabies, I have answers to real questions from ACL 2013 musicians. Today’s topic is Question #3 – “What do you do if your kid likes music that you really don’t like?”

I lied about saving you from Justin Bieber. I don’t know what made me do it. Maybe I was just trying to get your attention.

The ACL musicians we talked to thought alike on this one, with 11 out of 17 saying some form of “Suck it up.” (Well, assuming it isn’t offensive or age-inappropriate.) Brian Vander Ark from The Verve Pipe goes so far as to say, “You’re not SUPPOSED to like your kids’ music. That’s how music evolves!” Rick Silvestri from Andy Z and the Andyland Band brought up a point that is difficult to argue, “A child is a person.” And each person gets to have their own opinions.

The second-most mentioned suggestion (6/17) went further, recommending some form of “Listen and learn.” This was Rev. Sterling Lands II’s whole answer, “I listen and learn.” I like this one. Music can be a great way to connect with someone, either because you share common tastes or because you take the time to really listen to each other’s playlists all the way through.

Kristen Geller from the Andy Z and the Andyland Band and Kevin Russell from Shiny Ribs  both said music should bring people together and be fun, not create trouble. There are enough other things to fight about, right?

One fun thing to do is make music together, like the Courtyard Hounds on the Austin Kiddie Limits stage on Friday. Emily Erwin and Martie Maguire joined their girls on stage, first for a few songs together, then a few acapella songs just by the girls. There were two proud and loving Mamas on that stage, their smiles beamed all the way to the taxis.

I will tell you one music taste I really don’t like. It’s the one that says my taste is better than yours. There are limited cases when this might be logical, like if you are applying for a job to review music based on standards and you have special training or experience. But, for every other time, which is almost all the time, there is no such thing. I tell my girls, you like music that makes you happy and don’t let anyone tell you any different. It doesn’t matter if it’s smart or new or popular or indie or pop or classic rock-n-roll, it just matters if it makes you happy.

Which is why I can sing all the words to Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend.”

“If I was your boyfriend, I’d never let you go

I can take you places you ain’t never been before

Baby take a chance or you’ll never ever ever know…”

Stay tuned tomorrow for the last question in this series, which is one you really don’t want to miss, “Do you have any tips for getting the young ones to bed at night?” More sleep awaits you…


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