After almost two decades of making music together and millions of albums sold, the trio of brothers known as Hanson is still rockin’ and recording. To help support the VH1 Save the Music Foundation, the band is performing this Saturday in NYC at the VH1 Save the Music Foundation Family Day, a daylong interactive musical expo for families also featuring performances from Mat Kearney, Hot Peas ‘N Butter and Brianna Kahane, among others. Earlier this week, Taylor Hanson kindly took the time to check in with Parenting.com for a quick Q&A:
You all started having children fairly early. Did you consciously make the decision to be young dads?
Taylor Hanson: I know for my wife and I, we always loved the idea of being young parents. It is an incredibly inspiring and challenging job being a parent, and as it turns out, being young really helps you keep up.
What led you to become involved with the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and its first annual Family Day event? As fathers and musicians, what role do you feel music should play in children’s education?
TH: Since we did our first Storytellers special in 1998, we have been interested in helping promote the music and arts programs in public schools. As we have had a close relationship with VH1 and Save The Music for some time, we were really excited to be a part of the first Family Day Event, which helps showcase the vision and purpose of their work, and helps bring people together around a good cause.
It is clear in our life that being creative has helped spawn individuality and purpose. I think regardless of the career path or ultimate propensity to make art, music and arts programs are essential to unleash those aspects of purpose and creativity in all kids.
Plus: Why Music is So Important for Kids
How would you describe your parenting style? Do you think being young affects it?
TH: I am not sure if we have a parenting style. I do know that we believe in a lot of love and encouragement to be individuals, and also in good old-fashioned manners and respect. If we can accomplish those key elements, I think we both feel proud we’ve done our job.
Plus: 23 More Celeb Dads We Adore
You guys come from a big family, and Taylor, you have four children. Do you all want big families, like the one you grew up in?
TH: When I was younger I was the last to talk about plans for big families, but there is no question that having a big family has had many positive effects, that we would love to give to our own children.
Taylor and Isaac, your sons recently joined you in the video for “Give a Little.” What will you say to your kids if they tell you they want to go into show business?
TH: Can you think of anything else you would like to do? If so, do it. If not, we’ve got your back.
Plus: Is Your Kid Ready for Music Lessons?
Has becoming dads changed your music?
TH: Being a dad is such a big part of your life, it absolutely affects the music. More than anything, I think it is just further inspiration to draw from.
How do you entertain your families when they come on the road?
TH: I think our families are self-entertained, whether it is enjoying the tour bus (DVDs in the bunks and games in the back lounge) or exploring each city we are in. They are well traveled and comfortable wherever they visit.
Philanthropy is obviously really important to you guys. How are you teaching your kids about giving back?
TH: The best way to teach giving, I think, is through example. They understand that to have a roof over their heads and to get much of the things they need in life given to them is a privilege, and that it’s a blessing to have something that they can give to others. I think children really understand the simple idea of helping others at an early age, which is something we will continue to encourage.
Plus: Come to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation Family Day in NYC This Saturday!
Taylor used to tell us frequently that not going to school enabled him to build his interest in music into a career. He’s said recently that it’s hard to embrace being different in schools because of the comparisons to everyone else, and that he’d like to replace them with apprenticeships. Does he think that music and arts programs defeat individuality and purpose any less than the other random activities imposed on kids in public schools?