We are all Rock Stars! #edtech

As I find myself getting closer to a ‘big’ birthday (thankfully not this year) I have realised that I am reminiscing just as much as I am reflecting (good for CMALT!), and not just about work. This post helped me with a thought process I’d been struggling to complete for a while:

The most emotional time of our lives (so far?) are when we are growing into adults, the late teens, and the music we listen to then will always be associated with the emotions we had and continue to have. This stands to reason as

“our relationships with music really gets going when we enter puberty, and becomes most intense from then through to early adulthood. This is no coincidence. It is music that plays when we fall in love, when our hearts break, when we discover sex and learn the meaning of true friendship.”

In my late teens I, like so many others, thought/dreamed of being a musical genius of the likes of Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, or Eddie Van Halen (there, you know my musical tastes now). It didn’t matter that I had no musical ability at all, but it did matter that I couldn’t work out if I was going to sing/shout (Dave Grohl, Freddie Mercury, David Coverdale, James Hetfield et al), thump some drums (Roger Taylor, Mick Fleetwood, Lars Ulrich, Dave Grohl again, etc) or strum the gee-tar (Joe Satriani, Slash, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Michael Schenker, etc). These were my heroes, not because they were famous or rich, but because they used a talent to bring me happiness, put a smile on my face during all the usual teenage troubles.

What I know now is that I am passed the (st)age of rock stardom, and many other kinds of stardom for that matter. BUT, and this is important, the age of self-publishing has given each of us the ability to put ourselves out there on the Internet, and bare our passion or interest for all to see, much the same as the song/lyric writers did in the songs I head-banged to as a spotty teenager.

The bands I grew up to were doing much the same I am doing now – they wrote their songs because they wanted to, just like many of us are writing our blogs because we want to. The likes of Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Queen, and Whitesnake are Rock Stars to me, just like people like Steve Wheeler (@timbuckteeth), Stephen Heppell (@stephenheppell), and Sir Ken Robinson (@sirkenrobinson) are held in such high esteem to many of us involved in learning today.

If you didn’t see this post last year, then please check out the video “Obvious to you, amazing to others“. When I read the article on music I immediately thought of this video – the people I looked up to musically, and still do, are doing the same as I’m doing here, we are all writing about experiences, passions, interests, life. Whether you have a recording contract and a number one hit single or write a blog about your passion (coffee, learning, technology, poetry, swimming, etc) doesn’t matter – to someone you are their Rock Star, just like you have people you look to and think of as your Rock Stars.

Rock On!

Image source: Mark Wainwright

  • David – many thanks for the inspiring new years message! One of my current musical heros is Mika, who wrote “Grace Kelly” about exactly this point. Having been told by industry executives what sound he should go for, he decided to ignore their advice and just produce music he liked, becoming one of the most creative and interesting musicians around.

    One of the great things about social media is that we can all do this, even if in a small way.

    All the best


    • hopkinsdavid

      Hi Daniel. Thanks for this, and Happy New Year to you too!

      I am also very impressed with Mika and was not aware that the ‘industry’ had told him to be something else (wasn’t there a Pink song about that too?). The tools are here for us to use how we want to and the age of ‘fitting in’ has been busted wide open by the ability to self-publish. With the ongoing assault of self-publishing (not just blogging either) Amazon found themselves with self-published books in their Top 10 list – here’s a good article: http://www.usatoday.com/life/books/news/story/2011-12-14/self-published-authors-ebooks/51851058/1

      All the best, David

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  • DavidDMuir

    It may be that the associations and memories of our teenage years ae the reason for this strong association but I’ve always assumes it was to do with available time and accessibility. As a teenager I got a new album, I put on the headphones, cranked up the volume and read every word on the album sleeve while listening to the album over and over again. I invested time in listening, I mean really listening to those albums, until I knew them backwards! I still remember standing in the queue at the Glasgow Apollo to get tickets to see Rush; someone had a cassette recorder with them and was playing the new album and everyone in the queue was singing along – matching every vocal tick and flick that Geddy produced. We ALL knew the album backwards. As a teenager, I had the time to do that. All to often now, music is a background to something else: driving, or marking, or cooking dinner

  • DavidDMuir

    …Oops! I hit a character limit with the last comment! My second point, for what it’s worth, is when I was a teenager, music was an event, at least in part because my funds were limited and so my access to music was limited. Today, music is cheaper (relatively speaking) and ubiquitous – that’s bound to affect my attitudes to it.

    How is this relevant to your discussion about education? Hmm! Not sure… But I suspect in the same way I would love to still the passion I had for music as a teenager, I would love to have a passion for education that leads me to write about it and think about it in the way that Heppell et al do! Not so much “Hope I die before I get old” as hope I stay passionate as I get older!

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