Summer Spotlight: Summer Jams with Joey Pierog

Summer2017-SummerJamsGet ready to rock in our new summer program for ages 10 – 14, Summer Jams! Summer Jams offers aspiring young musicians with some experience a chance to perform in a rock band with new friends. Play songs by your favorite artists or work on your own original songs, and learn recording basics under the guidance of a professional touring musician, and other members of our talented faculty. Open to guitar, bass, keyboard, drums, and voice students. One year of lessons or equivalent experience recommended.

Meet your instructor, Joey Pierog, and learn more about this rockin’ band experience!

What instrument(s) and styles do you play/teach?  

I’m a bass player, and I also play and perform guitar, ukulele and a little bit of drums. I do love the excitement of picking up a new instrument so when I’m ready I’d like to be able to play the piano.  I teach many kinds of music depending on the student’s proficiency level — anything from folk to rock to jazz and pop. I perform regularly in multiple bands around New England and I really love it.

Watch Joey play with his band, Four Legged Faithful

Why did you choose to study music? Was there one teacher or program that inspired you the most as you were learning?

I’ve always heard the phrase, “Do something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.” I took that saying to heart. I knew early on that if I were able to play, write and record music as a job, I would be happy.

At a very young age music had a profound effect on me. Music has a way of tapping into your emotions and inspiring you. I wanted to reach people the way that so many of my favorite bands and artists had reached me.

My father is a musician, and as a young child I was fortunate enough to see him perform. The effect he and his band could have on an audience was captivating. I started performing as soon as I could play and soon wanted to create the types of music I was listening to. I enrolled at Berklee College of Music and once I started working more deeply in my major, Contemporary Writing and Production, I was exposed to arranging and composing. Writing and arranging music for orchestras, chamber groups and big bands was an empowering experience. Hearing the music you previously heard in your head — realized on real instruments — pretty much sealed the deal, and I knew that my life would be all about learning how to make music in any capacity I could.

What do you like most about teaching at IHM?

Indian Hill has a strong emphasis on community. Its programs and classes show how music can bring us together. The staff is cheerful and helpful, which in my opinion is a sign of a good place to be.

What do you hope to do in your program? What can students expect to get out of it?

I’d like to take what students have learned throughout the year (or years) in their private lessons and apply that to a group setting. While solo practice is very useful, it’s hard to understand the full potential of music until you’re playing it with other people. I also want to show people how fun and easy it can be to play some of their favorite music. In a band everyone has a job to uphold. If we all work together and try our best, the results can be pretty awesome.

Who are your favorite contemporary musicians / bands? 

My personal tastes are always changing so it’s hard to pin down what I would call my favorite bands. For the classics, l’ve always been a huge fan of The Beatles, The Band, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, Bill Withers, Fleetwood Mac (the list goes on). As for new artists I like the Fleet Foxes, Wilco, Sia, Bruno Mars, Adele, Childish Gambino, Kendrick Lamar… (this list also goes on and on). I listen to everything from hip hop to country. As long as the music is inspired and sincere I can find something to like about it. Louis Armstrong once said “There are two types of music. Good music and bad music.” To me, the two types of music are the music that speaks to you and the music that doesn’t.

What do you like to do when you’re not teaching or performing?

I always try to connect with my audience/students on an emotional level. The purpose of all art is to make us feel something. While the technical side of music can be very helpful, it’s pointless unless it helps you convey a feeling or idea.

Learn more about Summer Jams and our other summer programs for youth, teens, and adults, and register online.

 

 

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