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Give Your Kid a New Friend This Summer

It is a proven fact that students who take music lessons and play a musical instrument do very well in school. This would be a good time to get your child a musical instrument as a new friend this summer. When I was a young person I spent hours and hours learning to play the piano and the saxophone. The experience of spending so many hours studying and practicing helped me develop study habits that eventually got me through high school, college and law school.

Music became a friend that alleviated the need to be always running with other guys that often lead young people to trouble. Yes, I still play the piano a bit. The saxophone is a skill I lost long ago. The friend of musical instruments with music lessons was provided to my three sons also and kept them at home, in school, and out of trouble. They all took piano, and/or saxophone lessons.

One of my sons ended up becoming the youngest Drum Major at Pasadena High School and was chosen while a sophomore. Another son played the saxophone for a while, and I would like to think that helped him create the discipline to finish three college degrees, including his PhD. My oldest son moved on from piano to the guitar and now makes his living as a blues entertainer, singing and playing the guitar.

This summer, a piano, a clarinet, a saxophone, or a violin could provide just the friend that your child needs to spend the many hours of summer with. If, of course they need other friends, there are always books. Through books they can discover heroes as friends like poet, Langston Hughes to Ebony founder and publisher John Johnson, Explorer Mathew Henson, surgeon Dr Ben Carson, Harriet Tubman, Duke Ellington, Marion Anderson, Mary Mcleod Bethune and an unlimited number of achievers as friends that can provide inspiration to do great things in their lives.

I found my sons' saxophones and guitar at yard sales and second hand stores. Later, the music stores provided a source for used instruments which are all cheaper than bail money and an unending source of pride. My wife and I enjoyed all the recitals and performances in the school orchestra, bands and at church in the choir.

My seven grand children are all exposed to music through music lessons. They get great grades, too. One plays piano, violin, and the string bass. And my oldest grandson is learning to play the saxophone. Can't you already feel the pride I feel, as you envision your kid performing on a musical instrument?

If you don't provide some direction and a path for your kids to follow they may find a path of their own. Oh, by the way, it's Black Music Month!