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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: did you grow up with musical parents?

November 11, 2007 at 3:10 AM

I'm here in Cincinnati, Ohio, visiting my parents and sister. It's got me thinking about, well...parents! My parents love music, but they are neither professional or amateur musicians.

When I was 23, I found out that my grandmother's maiden name, "Geiger," meant fiddle player in German, so the violin gene must have been in me all along!

How about you? Did you grow up with musical parents, or were you the musical pioneer in your home?

From Bill Busen
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 4:18 AM
So the guy that takes attendance for the Berlin Philharmonic is a Geiger counter?
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 4:34 AM
The response "No, neither of my parents is a musician" may be misleading. Neither of my parents played an instrument, but they both loved classical music, so I grew up listening to classical music on the record player, radio, and free concerts. I certainly credit my parents with introducing me to classical music and nurturing my interest.
From Christopher Ciampoli
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 4:54 AM
Going along with what Pauline said, I think I read (or maybe I'm making this up) that children who are raised in households where classical music is played at the dinner table are more likely to go into a musical profession.
From Ray Randall
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 5:41 AM
My Father was a conductor and concert organist. When I graduated from High School and was off to college and to play in the Tulsa Philharmonic to pay the bills, Dad said, "are you going to play violin or fly for the airlines for a living?" I told him I was going to fly. he said. "thank God, you're not quite good enough to make the upper echelon of violin players, you're better off flying." He was right.
From Bram Heemskerk
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 9:17 AM
Pauline said: ""No, neither of my parents is a musician" may be misleading. Neither of my parents played an instrument, but they both loved classical music, so I grew up listening to classical music on the record player, radio, and free concerts."
The same counts for me.
When I vote in this poll I also had to think about that.
1)I like more the old text make-up of Arial?
2) Is it also possible to open a poll for all members of
3) I also write a lot on a skate on ice and on the road-forum. There you can easily quote remarks of other members, open polls, open topics (like we have here on discussion) and you can use a photo or image on every entry in a discussion of a topic. Here is this website: and
From Royce Faina
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 12:46 PM
I'm lol! Geiger counter...wish I thought of that one!

Neither one of my parents are musicians. My grandfather's father played violin, mandolin, double-bass, guitar and banjo. My great grand-mother had a 1st cousin who became mother to June Carter Cash and June is distantly related to Elvis Presley.

From Mendy Smith
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 1:00 PM
Both my parents were amature musicians: french horn and accordian. Maybe that explains why I play viola :)
From Liana Goldsmith
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 1:21 PM
My mother is a pianist, accompanist, choir director & church organist. She also sings in two professional choir groups. My sister plays cello & my other sister plays viola. My dad has even started singing in a choir and playing the guitar!! :)
From Arthur Haule
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 1:32 PM
Neither of my parents were musical in the least. My father had a good singing voice, but only sang in the car when we were on long trips...and that for 30 seconds at a time. He was a police officer who worked rotating shifts, so he was almost never at my concerts either. I never even heard my mother sing, so I don't even know what her singing voice sounded like. I have two sisters. One got a guitar for Christmas when she was in sixth grade. As far as I can remember she never played it after New Year's Day. She sang in the chorus through high school, but never played any other instrument. My other sister dropped out of chorus when she went into high school. We all had to take symphonette lessons for a year in elementary school. So far as I can remember these were the only musical instruments in our house except for my violin. We had a stereo, which my mother used to like to play the three Christmas albums we owned on between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Other than that I played my 45 rpm records and my 6 classical albums. That was the extent of music in the Haule household.
From Anne Horvath
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 2:23 PM
My Mom is a wonderful amateur pianist. My Dad doesn't play an instrument.

Also, I hope "The Weekend Vote" manages to get over to Graeter's, and snarf down a pint or three of the World's Greatest Ice Cream!

From Ruth Kuefler
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 3:20 PM
My mom played piano and French horn in high school, and my dad played trombone. My dad also learned guitar later. Neither of them play much these days, but they both love music dearly.

Hey, we need to have a poll about siblings playing violin music now. :)

From Jenny Fischer
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 5:35 PM
My dad plays violin and my mom plays the flute and a little piano and guitar. I grew up listening to Beethoven when I went to bed. Perhaps the reason I have such a fiery temper. Anyway, all three of us play in our church's worship band. Kinda fun.

Yeah... so in high school I really started to get attached to my dad's violin 'cuz I started practicing with it and then I wanted to use it for playing in our community symphony and my dad finally gave in and let me take it to college with me... my dad rocks. Well, it was either that or buying me a new violin... my intermediate fiddle just wasn't quite cutting it anymore.

From Laurie Niles
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 7:35 PM
Geiger counter, LOL!

Bram, I think one poll a week is enough, but I'm totally open to ideas about what the poll should be. E-mail me! The other stuff takes a lot of bandwidth, but do keep sending ideas, because as we expand things we keep people's requests in mind.

YES, I want to get to Graeters, the best ice cream on the planet, as far as I can tell. Vanilla chocolate chip is what I'll get....

From Pauline Lerner
Posted on November 11, 2007 at 11:32 PM
My father couldn't carry a tune, but he loved to sing anyway, to my mother's chagrin. My father told me that he first suspected that I had musical talent when I was a baby. Whenever he tried to sing lullabies to me, I would scream and cry until he stopped.
From Emily Grossman
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 1:39 AM
Both my parents played clarinet in high school band, but they haven't played in years. They both know piano, and my dad plays guitar with my mom on hammered dulcimer.
From Mara Gerety
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 7:13 AM
my mom has some basic training on the piano (enough for Suzuki book 3 or so) and my dad played french horn in HS band...but that's it. My grandmother was a very good amateur pianist.
From Eitan Silkoff
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 11:59 AM
my mom is tone deaf, and my dad was an opera singer and can play guitar
From Kyung-won Lim
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 2:32 PM
Yes, my late father was a conductor and my mother used to play the piano.
From Cathy Gray
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 3:14 PM
My dad was a midwestern junior high band director and professional clarinet and sax player. His bands earned top honors at festivals (we called them contests) every year. I wanted to play the violin. When I was little I didn't want to practice. He would sit down with me and his clarinet and say, "Ok, we won't practice. Let's play duets." He would transpose the 2nd violin parts and we would sightread duets for hours! I have always been a great sightreader. My mother majored in piano and voice. She was in opera choruses and was a professional accompanist to many opera singers who became well-known. She was always my accompanist. I loved growing up in a musical family. I married a pianist. My oldest three children are adults: my oldest daughter is a fantastic violist and my 2nd a wonderful pianist. My third child, a son, was a trumpet player but decided he liked acting better. I love to watch him on stage. My 4th, who came along many years later, says he would like to play the violin. Our family has done much performing together. My husband does really cool violin/viola duet arrangements for me and our daughter. I love it!
From Karen Gettel-Bell
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 4:00 PM
My parents were wonderful musicians. Dad loved to sing and mom played the piano for me until I entered Oberlin Conservatory. It is only recently that she has stopped playing the piano and organ. Mom is a perfect example of someone with talent (women didn't go to college in her generation) who maintained her skills and looked for new challenges such as learning to play the organ. Music has been such a joy to her. She is soon to be 90 and truly is the perfect example of the non-professional enjoying her musical life to the fullest.
From Oliver Bedford
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 4:21 PM
The link to the voting bit doesn't work !
From Oliver Bedford
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 4:23 PM
OK, does now !
From Liza Coroneza
Posted on November 12, 2007 at 10:22 PM
Well, my parents were not musicians. I guess the environment made me one... :) But I'm glad I got their discipline in life, because I'm applying it to the discipline in Music. But I wished that my parents were musicians so that I can be able to experience music in my early age. I'm still contented, and happy because my future sons and daughters will experience the things I would want to experience as a child.. :) btw, nice post!
From Barbara Castlow
Posted on November 13, 2007 at 2:06 AM
No, neither parent was a musician. However, both paternal grandparents sang in the opera in Italy. They encouraged each of their children (8) to learn how to play a musical instrument. My father never kept up with his choice of instruments, but a love of music and to play music have carried on through the lineage.

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