My Personal Music Mentors

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For the majority of of us in the arts and related sectors, mentoring plays a massive part in the learning process. Individuals who went to college can identify a person or two who acted as their mentor during their college years. 

I have had several music mentors (my primary art form), and they typically fall into one of two categories: those who taught me the art of making music, and those who gave me possibilities to grow in music. 

I have a number of mentors that taught me music 4 of which gave me private piano lessons when I was nine up until I was a sophomore in college. Each and every one played a part in my development, but one in particular stood out as a mentor more than the others. While 3 of my music mentors focused mainly on technique and expression, my instructor through high school acknowledged my gift in songwriting, and being a songwriter herself, tailored my training to include theory and contemporary songwriting, as well as classical instruction. She did not simply put me in a system instead she helped me develop into an artist. 

I had personal instruction under two composition professors while I was in college taking up composition as my major and like my 4 previous mentors 1 of the two stood out. He noticed my weak points and strong points as a songwriter and he provided me with a challenge that will help me grow. He is more of a trainer than a teacher and he is willing to work with every aspect of my humanity not only as a composer but as a person as well. 

There were also some mentors along the way who didn’t really teach me music, but recognized the gift and made room for it. As a young man of music I spent most of my time in the church and the people in the choir allowed me to use the musical and recording instruments which gave me room to develop my skills and learn from my shortcomings. These people were my private cheerleaders, but even more than that, they had a hand in building a platform of success under me. 

In thinking back on my music mentors, 2 things stand out. First off, those mentors that really touched me were the individuals who took interest in me, as a musician and as a person. Second, I realized that in the process of my growth as a musician, I learned more from my mentors than my college education..Even though some of my teachers and mentors were in the college scenario, it was the personal attention that helped me grow in music, far more than the classes, homework or tests. College was helpful in my growth, but my music mentors were pivotal in my development.

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