The anti compass

This is what is becoming a typical situation:

Little Jimmy is doing too much video games. He has been glued to the screen for 6 years now. It is painful to get him away from it, so much so that if he had a beard, it would be velcroed to the TV. And, here we are, Mr Sol, in your studio right now, because, you see, Little Jimmy has about as much interest in the real world as a jellyfish to a coffee machine. Can you, please! oh please! muster the power of enthusiasm that every teacher should have and create in my son the need for piano or drums? Anything, really to get him out of the rut he is been stuck into for the last six years.

I ask about his grades. They’re good. They usually are. Does he have friends? He does! Trove of them. The best, the brightest. Also very usual.

So, all is good! That’s what I’m thinking. But that part I don’t say.

Little Jimmy is watching the scene, vaguely interested. He’s wondering if there is an app that can make him a killer musician in minutes and stop all this boring back and forth he was forced to be part of.

The truth? You want the truth?

Ok, here is what I think.

This visit is not about Little Jimmy. Little Jimmy is fine. He will have a great life. Married, kids, house, the whole kit!

This visit is about the guilt the parents cannot bare. They’ve been buying Little Jimmy those platforms where he plays his games. Then the games themselves. They’ve been accustomed to live without Little Jimmy around the house because he’s in front of the screen. They’ve been frustrated that he doesn’t want to do chores, from taking the trash out to washing the dishes. And Little Jimmy doesn’t seem to be involved in anything. He doesn’t smile much. Doesn’t share much. Doesn’t do much. It’s like he’s trying NOT to live life!

So, those busy parents, they’ve decided to do something. They’ve talked about it. Music is great! Develops all sorts of things in the mind of youngsters. That will be the solution! Boom! Better call Sol!

And here we are, in my studio.

And it doesn’t work.

Because music is not an anti-compass. You have to come to music willingly. Not because it’s better to do that than killing aliens on a video game. Little Jimmy will stick to his digital gun. He won’t, all of the sudden, take an interest in music because his parents said so. But, at least, the parents get something out of the lesson (it’s usually one lesson, rarely two). They could say that the teacher wasn’t good, you see. This way it’s not their fault.

This way, no more guilt. Because, they tried!

And isn’t that a relief before we order a new video game for Little Jimmy!