Nathan's column: Can your baby drop the beat?
The first computer I remember having in my house was something called a Kaypro. It was a giant metal case with a tiny green-and-black screen. I think the keyboard attached to the front so you could carry the whole thing with if you were so inclined. And if you had a strong back or, preferably, a two-wheel dolly. And a couple of friends.
It was pretty cool playing games where all of the characters were letters and symbols from the keyboard -- OK, now make the little P guy run over there! Watch out for that O that’s rolling at you! -- but I’m pretty sure its processing power came in a little bit below a modern cell phone. Not even a smartphone. Just anything advanced enough to play that snake game.
The first thing I remember doing with a computer in school involved programming in BASIC. I remember going through a lot of steps just to make the cursor on the screen trace out the letter M. I have no idea how that was supposed to prepare me for later life, but, hey: computers!
To be honest, I’m not sure why I ever had to learn calculus, either.
All of which is to say, kids today get access to much cooler technology much earlier than I ever did. They learn at an early age how to shoot and edit video, to manipulate things in Photoshop. To make amusing gifs of cats.
And, starting yesterday in Brooklyn, how to put together a killer DJ set.
Which seems important.
According to multiple sources, New York City DJ Natalie Elizabeth Weiss is teaching a $200, eight-week course that will bring kids up to 3 years old up to speed -- presumably 33 RPM -- on the latest in getting rear ends shaking on the dance floor.
In between naptimes and diaper changes, tots will learn how to mix and match tracks using something called a MIDI trigger attached to a laptop. The idea, Weiss told the New York Post, is to get kids interested in electronic music and not so much to create a new source of child labor for the city’s rave scene.
There’s still a rave scene, right? It’s hard to keep up, but, I mean, they’ve already got the pacifiers.
“The people who are interested are not interested in coolness,” Weiss told the Post. “They say, ‘My baby loves music and they are already playing with my laptop.’”
Babies love dubstep. Everyone knows that.
One parent who talked to the Post had signed her son up for the class. She called DJing “something for him to do with other kids in the neighborhood.”
Sounds like a pretty perfect play date, if you ask me. Kids get together, watch a little Dora, have some juice and then lay down some tracks.
Actually, I think there are some real opportunities here. Parents spend lots of money putting together the perfect birthday parties for their young kids. At least, I imagine the kind of parent who would sign a baby up for a $200 DJ class would. So why not save a little cash by having the kid provide the music? It’s DJ Poopy D on the turntables!
If someone gets on the ball and starts teaching a newborn rap class he could even be joined by MC Sir Spits-a-Lot. Sample lyric: “I like big naps and I cannot lie!”
According to a profile of the class in GQ, a good professional DJ can bring in $250,000 a night, so maybe getting junior started early isn’t such a bad idea.
Or, just maybe, if your baby likes listening to music and playing with your iPad you could just let them do that. It’s a lot less official, but you’d save $200.