Relevance is Not Measured by Youth

Paul Peterson Minneapolis Media Institute Recording and Live Sound Instructor

I was young once, and thought anyone older than 25 was WAY out of it.  What I didn’t realize was that I was emulating and being influenced by people who were way older than that…but I didn’t put it all together.

Of course, when I actually surpassed 25, I actually gave in to the fact that I didn’t know everything, and people who were older than 25 actually had something called experience and knowledge.  I became one of those people. 

One thing I stress to my students is the art of listening; whether that is music, production concepts, or to information gained by inquiring.  Listening is the key to finding your own unique voice.  Wisdom is gained by acknowledging people who have what you want.  Nine times out of ten, those people are willing to give advice, because as I’ve said, we were young once as well.

Genuinely being interested in what someone does is “attractive.” Us “more seasoned folks” feel good that the younger generation appreciates what we have done, and continue to do.  Therefore, I dare you to:

Research – listen and be genuinely inquisitive of how something works…

Reach Out – send a message via email/social media. You might be surprised who answers you…

Respect – treat these knowledgeable people with the respect that they deserve. You will get SO much out of the relationship…

Good luck, and have fun!

Paul Peterson

About Paul Peterson

Paul has over 25 years in the music industry and has been making records for major labels since 1983, when he was a member of multi-platinum group "The Time." He also was the lead singer for Prince's group "The Family" and had a successful solo career on MCA and Atlantic Records. His professional performance career includes acts such as The Steve Miller Band, David Sanborn, Boz Scaggs and Kenny Loggins. Also, as a composer and producer, his numerous credits range from The Corrs, to Paula Abdul, and has written many songs for film and TV, including Girl 6, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, VH-1 and HBO.