CENTERVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — One 12-year-old from Centerville is taking the national stage, playing the banjo with the skill of someone two or three times his age.
“It’s what I love to do,” Owen Brockman said. “It’s one of the main factors because if I’m feeling sad — if I’m really happy — what I’ll do is I’ll play banjo. It’s my coping device for many things.”
Owen has been making music since he was six, which is when he started the piano. Then, three years ago, he fell in love with the banjo.
“I first saw it at a bluegrass festival in Miamisburg,” Owen said. “I thought, that’s amazing! And I really wanted to get and play banjo and so my parents got me one.”
He says he practices about 90 minutes a day, although on nice days in the summer, he’s been known to play for seven hours straight.
And all that practice is taking him places. Later this spring, he’ll be featured on a new show on PBS called WoodSongs Kids.
“They invite kids onto this tv show to play bluegrass music,” Owen said. “You get like a 30-minute segment. And you get to play a few songs and have an interview and it’s a lot of fun.”
As you can imagine, his parents couldn’t be prouder. His mom and dad met in junior high band class, so music has always been a part of their lives.
While they’re glad both of their sons have taken up music, what they’re happiest about is that they’ve found their passions.
“Find what you love you enjoy what you’re best at,” Scott said. “If it winds up being music, great. If it winds up being a sport, great. Just find something you love.”
Owen has some advice for those who are interested in picking up an instrument:
“I think you should do it because playing music is really the best thing you can do in life,” Owen said. “You can play it forever. You can’t play football when you’re 70 years or something like that. But when you play music you can play it all your life.”
His appearance on WoodSongs Kids isn’t the only honor Owen has received. He’s also been recognized locally and nationally for his musical skill.
But Owen says the best part of playing the banjo is the joy that it brings, and the friendships he’s been able to build. He is also starting to make music with his 10-year-old brother, Will, who plays the guitar.
Owen is a member of a local bluegrass band that tours regionally called Mark Whitt True Bluegrass. You can see their schedule and music here or visit their Facebook page here.
If you’d like to learn more about WoodSongs Kids TV, which is described as “Mr. Rogers meets the Grand Ole Opry,” click here.
Details on when Owen’s episode will air should be available in the coming weeks.