Parenting is tough. Parenting musicians are tougher. Parenting musicians during a global pandemic is…an absolute joy, though not without its highs and lows.
I’m confident that I’m not alone in thinking COVID19 has put a lot of strain on all parents. Especially new parents. Our newest resident violinist, Aiden, just had a beautiful baby boy, and he would tell you that trying to juggle teaching music (which, you know, creates a certain level of decibels), and getting baby to nap is no easy feat. While he’s one of the most patient people out there, it takes a next-level kind of Zen to stay at home near 24/7 and be the rock that he is amidst the chaos and cacophony of his hourly Zoom calls and baby’s crying.
What’s Aiden’s take on pandemic parenting?
“Well, it’s absolutely tiring for sure. I’m lucky I’ve got the missus to help out with baby, but I try to do my part. As for teaching while baby’s trying to nap in the other room? Luckily the kid’s taken to violin music very nicely — the nice lull of some Bach or the sweet tunes of Mozart konks them out pretty instantaneously. But we were pretty quick about exposing baby to all kinds of music — classical, jazz, EDM, rock…even metal — so even the pediatrician’s sure the sound of my violin playing’s just familiar to baby.”
Aiden teaches some of my kids violin & viola — I’m not even a new parent and I’m totally feeling his struggles! Running a business, being a musician, and raising children has been especially taxing amidst quarantine.
What about parenting the ‘bigger’ little musicians?
The key for me has been choosing my battles. With everyone in the house 24/7, it’s not the easiest task getting the kids to do anything, let alone practice their instruments. Video games abound at our house, and amidst the “ugh’s” and “no’s” the instinct has been to tell them what’s what. But a big part of keeping the family safe is keeping everyone sane, so while the kids are being kids, which is almost always, I’m getting business done.
Being a musician myself has afforded me a level of ease in connecting with the little ones. While that ease is something that’s definitely not privileged to everyone, finding the connection is absolutely not a passive process. In the past, I’ve made it a point to create musical content that relates to gaming and nerdiness, and I feel my efforts have done leaps and bounds for the family in the long run. All that accumulated good karma has paid off throughout quarantine for sure!
Even if the ol’ unit began isolation without the bank of good vibes to draw from, being holed up in the same space for so long certainly takes its toll. I myself being a generally active human — ‘human’ being the operative term’ — get pretty antsy, and antsy for the kids. But I remember that gaming, is an escape. And music is most definitely also an escape. So while I let the kids be kids, I hope I instill in them the joys of work and the joys of music, as a way to double down and take care of yourself, to focus on you and those immediately around you. I think that’s the best way we’ve found in parenting musicians during a global pandemic.