Spotlight On... America's Got Talent

Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.By Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.

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Spotlight On... America's Got Talent
Alex and Brody Gage

Tune in to America’s Got Talent (AGT) on July 28 to watch Topanga brothers, Alex and Brody Gage, perform in their second-round audition.

As one of the lucky teachers living in the community where I teach, I get to see many of my students grow up. When students start Transitional Kindergarten (TK) and Kindergarten, I don’t always see their skills and talents revealed, but slowly, as they get comfortable and gain confidence, the children begin to share. This was the case when I met Alex Gage in my TK class, who started out as a shy young boy who surprised all of us with his harmonica talents by the end of the year. When Brody was in my class a couple of years later, I had a clue that he possessed the same musical talent and was proven right. I remember both boys as focused students with a love of art and music. Watching Alex and Brody grow into the young men they are, good students, and amazing musicians, has been a true pleasure. According to their website (, “The Brothers Gage, Alex and Brody, first learned to play harmonica from their dad when they were both five years old. Within the next few years, they began singing, playing guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. They performed live for the first time at a local talent show in October 2013 (they’ve since played it six years in a row). Brody was eight years old and played harmonica while his brother Alex, 10 at the time, sang and played guitar performing the song “Wagon Wheel”.” The boys’ father, Dave, has taught harmonica for 40 years at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, so it was natural that he would start teaching the kids to play when they were little. He wanted to give the kids a skill they could take into adulthood, which also taught self-discipline via daily practice that began with 15 minutes a day, but it had to be every day, and by “every day,” he meant even on birthdays, holidays, vacations, etc. Dave’s philosophy is that if you miss one day, it makes it easier to miss more days. He ultimately found bribing them with weekly allowance money was the trick to keep them practicing. Miss a day, no allowance for that week. All of this practicing and commitment to perfecting their craft led to the Gage brothers’ love of music and the strong bond they share, which is clear in their performances. The Brothers Gage debuted on America’s Got Talent (AGT) on June 30, 2020, for their first-round audition. They performed their original two-man harmonica instrumental “Trading Eights” (available on streaming platforms), received four yes votes and a standing ovation from all four judges: Simon Cowell, Sofia Vergara, Eric Stonestreet, and Howie Mandel.  As Alex and Brody’s former teacher, watching that AGT show was a thrill that brought tears to my eyes. Mrs. Kort, their Kindergarten teacher, was equally moved and we were both so excited when they received the four yes votes! The Brothers Gage started playing in public at The Topanga Talent Show, which was a great way for the kids to have a goal of performing, rather than just practicing. After they got up on stage for the first show, they were excited to do it again the next year and the years following. Their humble beginnings at The Talent Show led to their shows at Topanga Days, the first year as the opening act on the Main Stage, followed the next year by a performance on the Corral Stage. Their mom, Tina, says her role as their mom has been a supportive role, since she doesn’t know how to teach music. She does contribute opinions about song choices, does the graphics for their flyers, and answers the ever-present question, “What’s for dinner? The Brothers Gage currently perform in the Los Angeles area at local clubs, events, fundraisers, pep rallies, and parties. They’ve played numerous times at McCabes’ Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, opening for the band Jacksh*t (including guest stars like Jackson Browne and Dave Alvin), and played an opening set for the band, Big Daddy, in 2018. They recently won first place at a local talent show called “Agoura’s Got Talent” in Agoura, California. In December 2018, the Brothers Gage released their first instrumental single, “Trading Eights,” which is currently available on Spotify, Apple Music, and iTunes. I am sure there will be more to look forward to with these two amazing musicians. Alex says, “We’ve grown up playing music and played many shows over the years, but it’s exciting to get to this level and play for millions of TV viewers.”  Brody adds, “The response to our act has been amazing, and being on the show was a cool experience.” Be sure to watch the Brothers Gage’s next appearance on America’s Got Talent, July 28.
Amy Weisberg, M.Ed.

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July 24, 2020