13 Aug G Day – A Dad’s Perspective
By Roland Nipp
When I first heard about G Day last Fall, I appreciated its celebration of adolescent girls, and was drawn to its theme of self-esteem, empowerment and community.
As Emma’s Dad, I have the usual parental worries about her future, and where she’ll fit in our world. I see the female role models, images, and pop stars that are promoted in our media and wonder how she filters and digests these messages. We certainly discuss this topic as a family but I wonder what lasting impression will be left on Emma, and what she’ll be like in 15 years.
Emma and I started playing music together when she was six years old (she’s now almost 13). When I first started teaching her guitar, it was simply to share my love of music and to have fun together. In the process of teaching her, it was also my hope to expose Emma to the necessary tools of working at a craft: practice, patience, hard work and discipline – tools that will serve her well in other aspects of life. In our smart phone world of instant gratification, these skills seem somewhat old-fashioned.
Over the past 20 months, Emma and I have been performing as a musical duo playing to diverse audiences. Most people who hear us usually assume the difficult parts are being played by me. Upon closer look, they are almost always surprised to hear the parts coming from Emma’s fingers. It’s particularly gratifying to me to break the stereotype that boys play lead guitar and girls only sing (with their instrumental prowess usually limited to shaking a tambourine, or politely strumming an acoustic). Music has been a predominantly male-oriented industry so I feel this is a small but important statement we are making.
I am proud that Emma has worked hard to develop her musical talent and it’s my hope that by playing at G-Day, the girls will be inspired to think “outside the box” and not be afraid to explore interests that have traditionally been thought of as male-oriented.
We enjoyed being at G Day last year, hearing the various speakers, and participating in its many activities. We believe in G Day’s themes of celebration, self-esteem, empowerment and community for adolescent girls. It’s our hope we can contribute by performing and bringing a unique perspective that adds to your show.