The Littlest Indie Performer Negotiates

My husband and I are musicians. And we’re parents. When we are onstage, we do our best to really be ON stage. But all our “backstage” experiences with our son (our little frog) deeply affect who we are as people, thus musicians. Recent insights:

In my last post, I described a gig that my son has decided he should play (at our local Mexican restaurant, set up "in the middle").

Nigel is 2 and 1/2. He has never played a concert before. But after seeing mom and dad perform countless times, and after being around while we are negotiating terms for appearances, it seems that our son already has clear notions about what he might need in order to give a good show.

Prepare:
Nigel has made a succinct playlist, to include "Thomas." (This is an "instrumental" version of the theme to Thomas the tank engine.) Notice the holistic manner in which our young performer prepares--literary backstory/inspiration, as well as musical review:

(THE FULL SET, subject to change)
Thomas [instrumental theme to Thomas the tank engine]
Wheels on the Bus
Sunshine [You are my]
Happy Birthday [unspecified recipient]
O Susannah
Thomas [reprise]

 

Rehearse:
In addition to solo study, Nigel has been trying things out with a more seasoned performer. This is the fast-track way to deep improvement.

Identify extra-musical needs:
Finally, Nigel has a clear list of items he'd like the restaurant to provide:
I am taking notes. This kid knows how to have fun and ask for what he needs. And he learns quickly from those around him. In the same way that I internalize messages from articles about how husbands and wives with kids work together, Nigel is picking up tips and applying them in his own unique way!

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