THEY say music is the universal language. Is this true? Or could it be that the art in music itself is a healer through its expression of humanity? It is something we are all touched by and, regardless of cultural background, everyone loves music.
Parents regard playing a musical instrument as beneficial to children. By this same token, it is my view that through this art form we can learn more about ourselves.
To gain additional insight on this topic, I was finally able to catch up with young Master Beckford, who had no problem in candidly speaking about his love for the art of music.
This student, who represented his school in the BAISS Spelling competition in 2012, believes that music helps overall academic development.
• We began with these questions:
Question: Who is Adon Beckford? Tell us how you got started in this art of music?
Answer: My name is Adon Orland Beckford, and I am a 15 year-old student at St John's College. I have always considered myself an assertive and gifted child. My interest for music increased at the age of nine, after I began watching my dad play the drums and trumpet. Not long afterwards, I asked him if he would teach me. Thereafter, music training continued.
I am aware that you are attached to your church ministry each Sunday… are you excited each time?
I consider it an honour to be a part of my church ministry, especially since my father, Antonio Beckford, pastors the church. However, most times I am excited, and sometimes it can become a little tiring as I have to be there before 6.30am and 10am each time. But I am used to it.
Do you regard your music as an art form? If so why?
Yes, I do consider music an art form. Personally it offers me an outlet to express myself.
In your estimation how important is music to you?
Music is a major necessity in my life because it helps me to concentrate while completing homework. The types of music I listen to are Jazz and classical. Both are very relaxing.
What is the hardest thing you have experienced regarding this knack for music?
One of the hardest obstacles was the co-ordination of rhythm (deciding not to go too fast or slow).
What do you enjoy the most about being a part of the music team?
There are so many benefits that can be achieved from the art of music, but personally for me it offers a sense of freedom.
Do you think great drummers require extraordinary co-ordination and rhythm?
Yes, drummers require co-ordination and rhythm. As a drummer I follow the lead of the base guitar.
How often do you practice?
My practice sessions are scheduled for twice a week.
Do your parents support your talent, and how pleased are they?
Yes, both of my parents are very supportive. My mother transports me to practice, while my dad always reminds me to stay prayerful and to do my best.
Do you receive many compliments and, if so, can you share a few?
Yes, maam, sure. Some of the compliments are: "Nice drumming"; "Boy you look like you can play"; and 'Drummer boy, you surprise me".
In your opinion do you think that listening to music can have a huge effect on our emotions or response to certain situations?
Yes, I do feel that music can have an impact on our emotions. For example, your mind operates on wherever your focus is. However, if someone approaches you in the wrong way, your response may perhaps be negative or violent.
Part of a drummer's job is to keep a steady pace time. How difficult is this?
At the beginning of my training it seemed a bit challenging. But it is OK now due to regular practices.
As a teenager, how do your peers connect to your world?
Most of my peers at school have observed my ability to drum, and were surprised but very supportive.
Do you intend to delve deeper into other music interests?
Yes, I do. Actually, in addition to drums I also play the guitar, which was taught to me by my uncle and Brother Brook. I do intend to expand further in the future, but for now I will focus on drumming.
Do you play by air or read music?
I do read music, but not when I am playing the guitar. It is done by air
Finally, if a friend or school mate wishes to learn, will you be willing to teach them, and what are a few tips you would offer?
Yes, I would be happy to do so. One vital tip that I would offer them would be to stay focused and always go beyond their potential.
All parents want their children to do well and experience happiness while chasing their dreams. It is evident from every aspect of research that when children are involved in the art of music, their prospects are sharpened; their understanding of art and the world is deepened; and their thinking is noticeably enhanced. And clearly this concentration will no doubt improve a child's skill and productivity throughout their working life. Until we meet again, fill your life with memories as opposed to regrets. Enjoy life and stay on top of your game.
• NB: The columnist welcomes feedback at email@example.com
ABOUT THE COLUMNIST: Deidre Marie Bastian is a professionally trained Graphic Designer/Marketing Coordinator with qualifications of M.Sc., B.Sc., A.Sc. She has trained at institutions such as: Miami Lakes Technical Centre, Success Training College, College of The Bahamas, Nova South Eastern University, Learning Tree International, Langevine International and Synergy Bahamas.