Shaun Rodgers joins the show to talk about drumming, teaching music in the Virginia public school system, and the University of Maryland’s music department. Shaun is a former colleague and bandmate of hosts Aaron Sefchick and Joe McMurray, playing drums in their original band, the Kairos Quintet. The guys reminisce on the collaborative writing approach and overall professionalism of that band.
Shaun tells us about the different bands that he is currently playing in around Northern Virginia including:
– Broken Ground Band: a 1990s/early 2000s cover band (www.brokengroundband.com)
– Half Pint Harry: a band featuring tiny instruments (www.halfpintharry.com)
– FarAway: an acoustic duo (plus drums) (www.farawaysongs.com)
Shaun tells us about life as a general music teacher in the Virginia public school system. He teaches Kindergarten through 6th grade and although it can sometimes be exhausting, Shaun points to the beauty of having a full-time salaried position in the musical realm. We discuss why he is choosing to teach younger kids versus older kids (no after school programs!), semester planning, “Standards of Learning” (SOL), teaching young kids how to “school,” teaching recorder in public schools, and the usefulness of the piano and guitar for teaching.
We then talk about melodic drumming, a topic that we have discussed in the past with Joe Hamm of El Sistema in Episode 038. Shaun, who has an incredible ear, tells us about his past ear training and how it helps him to sing harmonies. We also talk about the importance of designated listening for ourselves and our students.