Dan Levinson recently posted a conversation on Facebook that he had with his young daughter Aven regarding her musical tastes. It bears sharing with our readers. – L.S.
Last night as I was getting ready for work, I put on Louis Armstrong’s 1930 recording of “My Sweet.” No sooner had I done so when our two-and-a-half-year-old yelled out, “No, Daddy, I don’t like it! Turn it off!”
“You don’t like Louis Armstrong?!” I asked, incredulously.
“No. Play some other music.”
For the moment, let’s set aside the fact that she woke up one morning a few weeks ago and started speaking in complete sentences. Okay, I thought to myself. I’ll play along.
“What kind of music do you feel like listening to?”
Her eyes glanced to the left as she pondered the question. Then she looked straight at me and said, definitively, “Blues!”
“Blues,” I repeated.
(It may be worth interjecting at this point that I’ve never played blues music for her or used that word in reference to the genre of music.)
I put on Bessie Smith’s 1929 recording of “I’ve Got What It Takes (But It Breaks My Heart to Give It Away).” That seemed as good a place as any to begin nurturing a toddler’s budding interest in this classic American idiom.
She listened attentively, but seemed unmoved. When the song ended, I inquired, “So, is that what you were thinking of, or were you thinking more in terms of electrified Chicago Blues?”
Without hesitation, she answered, “Chicago.”
So I put on Buddy Guy’s recording of “Black Night.” I said, “Like that?”
“Yeah!” With that, she leapt to her feet and sailed into an emotive, interpretive dance, eyes closed, head tilted heavenward.
Well, at least she knows what she likes. Now I’m going to have to address a serious problem. No child of mine is not going to like Louis Armstrong. I need to find a good jazz therapist for her.
Oh, and did I mention she plays guitar and rides a motorcycle? We’re doomed.