My Shortest Fan

This past December, I played a Christmas party at a private residence in DC. I have performed at their (beautiful) house once before the previous year. During that first performance, I was set up in the corner of the living room, with guests mingling around that part of the house. It was all adults, except for one extraordinarily cute little boy – the home owners son. He walked into the room, toy guitar in hand, and with a shy demeanor hidden behind a coy smile, strummed his guitar just a few feet away from me. He was officially part of the band.

A year later was the Christmas party, and there I was again, playing in the corner. This time, my old bandmate was a bit sleepy, and only made a short appearance at the party… just long enough to watch me play a couple songs. His Dad told me that over the past year, he would often go to that corner of the room and play "Dan" (a.k.a. play his plastic guitar in the same place I do). By the time the Christmas party ended, he was fast asleep upstairs. I gave his dad a copy of my CD and the guitar pick I used that night to pass on to the miniature musician. I heard he was excited to get it and couldn’t wait to use it. Super cute!

First, I would like to take this opportunity to personally claim full responsibility if he becomes a rock star. I expect to be mentioned in his first Grammy acceptance speech. Second, I want to remind everybody how music can resonate with everybody – no matter how old or young you are. So next time your niece or nephew or son or daughter asks for a new video game, buy them a kazoo! (or guitar, or drums, or flute, or whatever won’t make the upstairs neighbors angry).

"Kids: they dance before they learn there is anything that isn't music.
~William Stafford

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