CENTVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) — One 12-year-old from Centerville enters the national stage playing the banjo with the prowess of a man two or three times his age.
“This is what I love to do,” said Owen Brockman. “That’s one of the main factors, because if I’m sad – if I’m really happy – I’ll play the banjo. It’s my way of dealing with a lot of things.”
Owen has been involved in music since the age of six, when he started playing the piano. Then, three years ago, he fell in love with the banjo.
“I first saw it at the Miamisburg Bluegrass Festival,” Owen said. “I thought it was amazing! And I really wanted to get and play the banjo, so my parents bought me a banjo.”
He says he trains for about 90 minutes a day, although he has been known to play for seven straight hours on good summer days.
And all this practice drives him crazy. Later this spring, he will be featured on the new WoodSongs Kids show on PBS.
“They invite kids to this TV show to play bluegrass music,” Owen said. “You get a 30 minute segment. And you’ll play some songs and do interviews, which is a lot of fun.”
As you can imagine, his parents couldn’t be more proud. His mom and dad met in elementary school, so music has always been a part of their lives.
Although they are happy that both of their sons have taken up music, they are most happy that they have found their passion.
“Find what you like, you like what you’re best at,” Scott said. “If it turns out to be music, great. If it turns out to be a sport, great. Just find what you love.”
Owen has some advice for those who want to pick up an instrument:
“I think you should, because playing music is really the best thing you can do in life,” Owen said. “You can play forever. You can’t play football when you’re 70 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 has also received local and national recognition for his musical prowess.
But Owen says the best part of playing the banjo is the joy it brings and the friendships he’s been able to build. He also starts making music with his 10-year-old brother, Will, who plays the guitar.
Owen is a member of a local bluegrass band that tours the regions under the name Mark Whitt True Bluegrass. You can see their schedule and music here or visit their Facebook page here.
If you want to know more about WoodSongs Kids TV, which is described as “Mr. Rogers meets the Grand Ole Opry, click here.
Details on when the Owen episode will air should come out in the coming weeks.