by Kirby LindsayOn Saturday, January 15th, Dusty Strings Music Shop will host a free concert for kids, and everyone interested, at 11am, featuring The Brian Waite Band. Everyone can dance, sing and laugh as the Band puts on an outrageous rock concert, but this gathering will also introduce parents to music classes for preschoolers now being offered through Dusty Strings. Taught by Brian Waite, these classes incorporate much the same sense of fun and play that audience members can experience at the concert.
Excited To Learn
Waite has been successfully teaching the music program being offered for 10 years, currently at eight different schools. The classes, according to Waite, will, “get kids in and excited about learning to play an instrument.” The two classes – Music Time, designed for ages 18 mos. to 3 years, and Music City Adventures, for ages 3 to 5 years – don’t require children to pick up an instrument. Rather, through exposure to different genres of music, movement, and storytelling, Waite builds on an innate appreciation.
“Kids are born with a love for music,” Waite explained. He nurtures that love by putting “different instruments in their hands,” he described. He also makes sure that, “there is a movement element,” he said, “and you have to make it fun.”
Music Time involves both a parent and their child, for a, “very hands-on,” experience, Waite acknowledged. “I expect them to dance and sing,” he said of the parents, to model for their child. “It’s totally fun for them,” Waite admitted, “I’ve had parents say it’s their exercise class.”
In Music City, “I’m able to bring themes into the classes,” he explained. One week he will do a ‘South-Of-The-Border’ theme, with maracas, and songs in Spanish. The next might be a farm country theme, with animals, and cowboys. “That’s how to keep it fresh,” he explained, to keep kids engaged.
Excited To Play
Waite describes a similar approach to entertaining youthful audiences as a member of The Brian Waite Band. Waite (who plays electric guitar,) along with Todd Gray (drums) and Clif Swiggett (bass) keeps their music fresh and engaging. “We don’t water our music down,” acknowledged Waite, and they perform rock-n-roll, with lyrics made accessible for children.
“It takes a special synchronicity to form a kid’s band,” Waite admitted. The original idea came, Waite recalled, partially from his wife when she suggested that in addition to the music he wrote for adults, that he write music for kids. She and Waite owned and operated a Little Gym franchise at that time, and he had experience there in teaching children.
Waite asked previous band mate, and fellow parent, Gray to accompany him in performing the songs. During a concert, they mentioned their search for a bass player – and discovered Swiggett in the audience, with his kids. Today the Band performs year ‘round, although a majority of gigs, in Seattle, come during summer festival months. Lately at these shows, they perform from their latest album, 20,000 Volts Under The Sea, a musical adventure about the band traveling to Atlantis for a show.
For the concert at Dusty Strings, Waite admitted that they won’t perform one of their entire adventures. Instead they’ll offer up snippets from a variety of past adventures, although the electric shark guitar (from 20,000 Volts) will be incorporated.
So, come down and enjoy some entertainment, take a chance on winning one of the free door prizes – and find out how Dusty Strings, and Waite, can make music fun!
©2011 Kirby Lindsay. This column is protected by intellectual property laws, including U.S. copyright laws. Reproduction, adaptation or distribution without permission is prohibited.