The Barrel Boys Tell Us How They Got Started in Music

On May 18th, The Barrel Boys will be playing a free concert as part of the Lovenotes Concert Series. I talked to them to find out about how they got started on their instruments. Oh ya know - Just a regular mix of caramels, Richard Scary and Weird Al Yankovich! 

Nathan (fiddle)

My earliest musical memory is from growing up in small-town Northern Ontario: while my dad was at work, my mother would often bring 3-year-old Nate over to hang out with the elderly couple across the road. The gentleman who lived there, Charlie, was a fiddle player and would ask my mother to accompany him on the piano in their living room while I would listen and eat caramels. Hanging on the wall were some miniature decorative violins. My young mind couldn't grasp that these weren't actual playable instruments and I would always ask to take one down and give it a go. Three years later, my parents decided I was old enough for lessons and the rest is history!

Tim (bass) 

When I was 3 or 4 years old, I got a Richard Scarry Christmas songbook as a gift, and it had a small electric piano built into it. I took to it quickly, learning all the familiar melodies written out in the book, and before long I was trying to figure out other tunes that I knew by ear. My parents saw how excited I was about the book, so they put me in piano lessons and signed me up for a children’s choir. I enjoyed the choir, but was kicked out for talking too much during rehearsal. My earliest musical influences were Cat Stevens, Elton John, Enya, Beethoven (via my older brother’s piano practice,) and a fellow named Mark who played guitar and sang at our church.

Rob (banjo)

My first instrument was the piano, and my teacher was my mother. She taught group piano lessons as part of Music for Young Children, which is a great program that involves lots of games and group activities and ear training. Unfortunately I didn't retain much piano but it set the foundation for when I learned my first guitar chords from my dad. I would say my first influence was Weird Al Yankovic, whose amazingly versatile talent introduced me to so many different artists and styles of music. I can't count the number of songs that I heard after I already knew the parody version! Crazy to think he's more successful than ever after a 30 year career.

Ben (guitar) 

My first instrument was the piano. I grew up in a home with two older sisters who both had completed their RCM training, and I was surely destined to follow in their footsteps. I'm sure my parents had picked out 6 hand piano trios in anticipation of future family Christmas gatherings in mind. Unfortunately, my piano training went the way of so many young students, I didn't complete my daily practicing as my sisters had done years before and I did not progress as quickly as they had. After months of unimpressive music lessons the music teacher suggested I should stop the lessons due to my lack of commitment. In a strange twist, my sisters went on to become an accountant and an English teacher, while I went on to become a music teacher. 

Do you have a kiddo who loves music and is interested in playing an instrument? Why not try out a class at Lovenotes School of Music. In our parent/child music classes our expertise lies in building solid musical foundations for 0-5 year olds in a fun and nurturing environment. We also run summer music camps for 4-6 year olds.