When I was really young, I had a favorite song. “Red, Red Wine” by UB40. Not sure why it was that song. I just enjoyed the sound of it. I had no idea what I was singing about, but I just sang along whenever I heard it. Music wasn’t huge in my life at that point, but I was aware of it and it made me, like everyone else, feel good.
Around the age of 10 I started playing the violin. I was in orchestra in 5th grade and was taught the basics of playing the violin. It wasn’t until I was 13 that something sparked in me.
My brother had a friend across the street at our lake house that had a drum set. I tagged along one time and I got to play it. I had no idea what I was doing, but I immediately fell in love. After that, I would do anything to play the drums. Of course, my brother didn’t want me tagging along with him and his friend, so it was a constant battle to get over there and play. I can’t remember exactly what he told me, but it was something along the lines of, you’ll never play the drums. Drums are for boys and you’re a girl. That sounded like a challenge to me! Luckily, the parents were super nice people and told me I could come over and play anytime. They’d go out of town and give me the key to their house and I would not only take their dog out for a walk, but afterward I’d get to play those drums until my heart was content.
But my heart wasn’t content. I needed drums of my own. I began asking my parents for a drum set. You can guess the answer I got. I bugged them daily for years until they finally agreed to let me rent a set from our local music store. They sounded awful…and they sat right in the middle of my bedroom…but they were my drums and I loved it for the 9 weeks that I got to have them. Nevertheless, it sparked a love of music in me and I began teaching myself any instrument I could get my hands on. I still played violin and over time I also learned guitar, piano, bass, harmonica, and a little bit of trumpet. Any chance I got to play around with an instrument, I took it. I spent study halls in high school in the practice rooms on the piano, or a friend’s french horn, bassoon, saxophone, or just playing my violin to try and get better. I gained knowledge of music theory. I was in orchestra, choir, music theory, piano, dance, and music composition classes. The fire was burning in me.
To conclude this little story, though I could go into greater detail and make it much longer, I finally bought my own drum set in college and never looked back. Drums remain my main instrument and I love every chance I get to play. I’ve played shows, hundreds of worship sets, retreats, awards shows, revivals, and I practice at home any chance I get.
All that to say, I was the pregnant lady with the headphones on my belly. I had no clue if it worked, but I was going to try. I wanted my baby to hear music before he even entered the world. I could only pray that he would even kind of enjoy music as much as I did. Well it worked.
I have videos of Asher as a baby, probably 6 months old with a toy that played a short little song when a certain button was pushed. Every time that song came on, he’d raise his hand, touch his thumb to his pointer and middle fingers, and move his arm side to side like he was conducting. His head would tilt to the side a little and his eyes would close. I’m not certain if he was imitating something he’d seen me do or if he was truly feeling the music. I remember it almost bringing tears to my eyes watching him as he did it repeatedly, each time that song came on. He’s a musical baby!
As soon as he was able to sit up, I’d sit him on my lap, put drum sticks in his hand, and let him drum on my drum set. Nothing good came out of it, but he never complained about it. Finally one day at around 18 months old, during our prayer time before bed, he would ask God to bring him some “brums.” We couldn’t really understand any other word he was saying but then we’d hear “brrrums.” Christmas was coming.
He prayed for “brums” every single night for 4 months until he finally got some “brums” for Christmas. It was just a little toy drum set, but it was all he needed…for now. We told him that they were from Jesus because he had prayed for them so much. All his other gifts were from Santa. But those drums? Those were from Jesus.
Little did we know, those drums really were a gift from God. They ended up being Asher’s GIFT. If there weren’t so many books and movies already called “The Gift” I would write this story into a book and that’d be what I call it. I’m not saying he sat down at those drums for the first time and hammered out a drum solo Neil Peart style, but the passion was there from day 1. He got those drums just before he turned 2 and by the time he was 3 he had found the beat. He was playing basic beats and becoming more and more creative with them by the day. He had also gotten bored with his toy drums and had moved on to playing on my drums all the time.
We decided it was time for an upgrade. We sold his toy drums and got him a Ludwig Jr set. This set is the real thing, but for young people. He was so excited about them! We started making videos of his playing and posting them on YouTube to have a comparison of how far he comes over the years. He has already come a loooooong way. It is amazing!
He enjoys playing worship songs that he hears me play and his own original songs that he makes up. It’s been more recently that I noticed he was making up his own beats and playing them consistently every time, and then adding his own original lyrics as well. We have recorded one of them and we will be recording more in the near future.
I prayed for a child that liked music. I got a child that is a musician. A child with a passion for music. At 4 he is playing drums, writing his own music, listening to music, and is constantly singing something. He also has a violin that he has shown interest in learning, he is interested in the piano and guitar, and he is slowly starting to show knowledge of reading music. There’s no telling where he will be in 5 or 10 years. It’s not going to take long though.
How do I know this is truly something he enjoys? That’s easy. He asks me if he can go play drums. Daily. Several times a day. Not a day goes by that he isn’t playing drums. If he’s not on his drums, he’s singing something or tapping something on whatever surface he can find. If he didn’t enjoy it, I would be the one asking him to go practice. Drums are his thing, just like his mommy! My goal is to encourage that and make it easy for him to chase his dreams. At least easier than it was for me.
I have read and heard several parents talking about how there’s no way they would allow drums in their house. They talk about the headache it would cause and how they would need earplugs. I always wonder about that. Am I just weird because it doesn’t bother me? Maybe it’s because I’m a drummer too. Maybe it’s because my child showed potential from the beginning. I don’t know. All I do know is that my son has a gift, and I’m glad that he was given permission to find it.