This course was created by Justin Ahrens. We are pleased to offer this training in our library.
Skill Level Intermediate
- [Narrator] This is an audio course. No need to watch. Just listen. Welcome to the latest edition to LinkedIn Learning: podcasts. We've curated some of the best creative podcasts and made them even easier to listen to. Each episode is split into sections. Use the links in the contents area to skip to whichever section you like. We're always looking for new ways to help you learn and we'd appreciate your feedback. Thanks for listening. (gentle piano music) - [Interviewer] So, you know I want to start like way back, I want to start with, I want you to visualize little Dan. - [Guest] I can see him. - [Interviewer] Okay there it is. - [Guest] Yeah. - [Interviewer] So what age do you want to start? Let's say before 10. - [Guest] Cool, okay, - [Interviewer] Where were you living at the time? - [Guest] I was in Pittsburgh. - [Interviewer] Okay. - [Guest] I was in Pittsburgh, I could actually tell you my first memory. - [Interviewer] Whoa, Whoa. - [Guest] Which was formative. - [Interviewer] This is awesome, all right let's go. - [Guest] Ready? - [Interviewer] Yeah. - [Guest] So, my very first memory literally was sneaking out of bed, I must've been three or maybe four, but we moved house when I was four, so I was very young. It was in the first house, sneaking out of bed, and sneaking after bedtime, sneaking down the stairs, and sitting on the landing. I peak around the corner and watch my parents play music together. - [Interviewer] Okay, I thought you were going a different direction. (laughs) okay, okay, music, so all right. This, this is a family show, but I mean yeah. Okay, yeah, yeah. - [Guest] Yes, they were playing music together. - [Interviewer] Okay. - [Guest] In the living room, and I remember just sitting there watching them do what they did. My parents were professional musicians though. - [Interviewer] Okay. - [Guest] So, I got a chance to watch my father who's a flute player in the Pittsburgh Symphony for many years. My mother who was a very successful opera singer make music, not in front of thousands of people, they would usually do, but just together in this little house, and have a wonderful time doing it, so my first memory is really of people who were excellent at what they did. - [Interviewer] Yeah. - [Guest] But also really enjoying, loving what it was they were doing, not for any reason other than for the work itself, and that played a huge roll in where things would go. Sometimes they would have friends over, from the symphony or amateur musicians just to play, but it was always classical music. And they just loved that, they loved that genre of music. - [Interviewer] Do you play music yourself? - [Guest] I grew up playing the cello, so I played all the way through college, and then stopped playing. I actually thought about playing and I called my dad in my freshman year of college, and I said, "you know, I think this is what I want to do for a living." And he was thrilled to hear it over the phone, and was you know, "of course, my son is going to be a musician as I always hoped" and he said, "this is wonderful, we'll do exactly for you what my parents did for me." Which is challenging because well my parents were immigrant children, we will support you for a year, you come home and you practice everyday in your room from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and then when that year is over you go and you audition for music conservatories and off you'll go. I thought wow, that sounds horrible. (laughs) So, there's no way I'm doing this, - [Interviewer] Right. - [Guest] I mean, I'm not going to be sitting in my room all alone. My parents... - [Interviewer] Right. - [Guest] The next year, I knew that college, in college I was able to play ball, I was writing for the paper, I was doing a radio show, I had a lot of friends, and there were girls, and there were definitely none of those things back in my room at home, so that wasn't happening. So I figured I need to find another avenue to explore my love for music. (piano music) I started playing the piano really young, and I played, gosh I don't know, five or six years, and it just wasn't working for me, and that's when I picked up the cello. Which is my father's favorite instrument. Which is why it was chosen for me, it's always been a challenge for me to sit still, maybe that was it with piano. Although you know, you look at certain pianists like Jerry Lee Lewis. You don't have to sit still. - [Interviewer] Right. - [Guest] But, but it was a challenge. I think it's always been a challenge for me with music, and it's one of things that when I look at how people thrive, whether they're young, I have a little boy, I have an eight year old boy, he can't sit still. So, can he thrive while he's sitting still? I don't think so. And that's one of the many, many aspects that comes into how do people thrive in life. I think they're important to consider. So, no I tried piano, couldn't sit still, didn't work. Tried cello, I couldn't sit still long enough to really put in a lot of practice because I wanted to get up and move. - [Interviewer] Yeah. - [Guest] Which my dad didn't understand because he was the guy who sits and focuses and plays. (piano music) - [Interviewer] When I think of the cello, I think the worst part of that is, I think its the most beautiful sound in instrument, but carrying that to practice everyday. - [Guest] All right, so here's the deal, yes, it is a beast to carry it to practice, and you're wondering why you're doing it, and specially you're getting teased in grade school, but then you get to college, you realize that having a cello is kind of sexy. (gibberish) And so you got to work the cello angle. (laughs) Yeah, so I carried that thing all the time, even if I wasn't about to practice. It was, where are you going? I don't know, I'm going to a football game. why do you have your cello? Because I can. - [Interviewer] Yeah, yeah. - [Guest] So yeah, music's always been such a huge part of my life. Listening, watching my parents, listening growing up, watching how much it meant to them, and for them it was really about making music. Clearly, and doing what they end up doing for a living, and for me I think that music was certainly part of the playing, a lot of hearing, listening to it, but it more often is something much bigger later on, and a part of my exploration in life. Which started with walking down the stairs, crawling down the stairs, and listening through playing then continued on to really think about how can I help people who are interested in music, and how can I have, get music out to a broader audience, and help them understand the power that it has.