When I first started out playing was to sing. All the instruments I learned before the violin were just singing. I think there are many other things there. I think it’s the most exciting and engaging and fun and wonderful way of learning music to be able to sing with other people and play an instrument. It is a real privilege.
Is there a lesson you can give your students about singing?
You really can’t teach that to a young musician. First of all when you are starting you’re just going to have your head so much about, ‘Oh, I’m making a mistake.’ And then when you’re done you can’t get to the place you want to. You have got to learn to move on because there are a million ways to write to another human voice. You have got to move on and try to figure out the right music to sing.
Tell us about the type of voice that you were going for when you were training with Dixieland.
I was trying to figure out what kind of voice I wanted to sing. It was interesting because there were so many of us who came back from this with a different voice than the one we had left. It was pretty wild. I remember we were doing Dixieland with the conductor. There were all these other kids that were playing Dixieland. You were trying to figure out ‘Oh, does that look like me?’
Your father worked as a car salesman and his family had been in and out of prison. What did you learn about working with prisoners? What were the lessons?
One thing our manager learned was that a lot of you guys were coming out of that world, trying to make sure that you were doing something that was good and not making the mistake that maybe one or two people had made. People were coming in and saying, ‘I’ll work in a warehouse.’ You learn to live with that and don’t act like you were just a regular person when you really know what you’re doing.
So your parents got out of the prison system?
They came out and lived all over New York. My mother was actually a prison chaplain. And you’d think she was teaching a lot of us how to speak. She was kind of just like a mom to us, but she was an incredibly tough human being. She had served time. She was trying to save people. In some ways her legacy has continued in other ways.
The book is called
learn guitar youtube stand by your man karaoke with no backup, how to learn guitar notes easily offended, learn guitar chords easy basic, learn guitar fast for beginners, easy way to learn electric guitar chords