TurtlesSo far I sadly have neglected discussing my late grandmother, the one married to my 104 year old grandfather, who died in her 90s. She had an independent streak and made sure that we grandchildren were sufficiently exposed to concerts and music of all types. She was quite a character and had an uncanny resemblance to Rosalind Russell in Auntie Mame. She took all of us to the ballet, operas, and symphonies, and rock concerts on a near weekly basis. By the time I was in 5th grade, I had seen the Dave Clark Five, The Stones, Beatles twice, Monkees, Jimi Hendrix, The Turtles, Chad and Jeremy, The Animals, The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, and a host of other bands. To make her happy, we went to see Dorsey, Sinatra, Tony Martin, Count Basie, and all the greats of an earlier generation. She was always 50 years older than anyone at the rock concerts, and had just as much fun as the kids. She also had an uncanny ability to score tickets in the first three rows for everything… she claimed her poor eyesight necessitated  front-row seating. Feeling that being around all of the kids made her young again, she was criticized by the rest of the family for her apparent craziness. She was crazy like a fox, as our generation of cousins has an appreciation of every form of music and we owe it all to her. Those concerts she took us to are among the best memories of my life and can never be taken away. I think that this fall I will invite Vic and Aubrey to a Phish concert when they come to NY. I know Aubrey will like it and it will open some news doors for Vic.

Marion Dreyfus notes the benefits of taking children to concerts and other grown-up activities:

You pick up a great deal of incidental ambient intelligence at those concerts. Different venues rouse new parts of the dormant brain, making more synaptic connections and neuron networks grow. The new intel becomes part of our personal carapace of knowledge and sentience. You can function on more data, have a greater range of facts and input upon which to think and act.

Tom Marks is skeptical:

The 'synaptic connection' angle sounds like what an embarassed neurologist in a Woody Allen film might say to his unamused wife after she had found strip-club charges on his Am_rican Express card statement.





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