Meet Your Dojo Instructor: Glen Wallace
Welcome to our first Burlington Music Dojo blog! We’ll post here from time to time as a way to better get to know our instructors, hear from students, and other awesome happenings at the Dojo!! In this first entry, we’re excited to introduce Glen Wallace, one of our experienced and local Vermont drum instructors. We sat down with Glen for a quick chat to discover his inspiration, approach to music instruction, advice for aspiring musicians, his spirit animal, the album he’d take with him on a desert island, and more …
Who is the most influential musician in your life? And why?
“If I have to pick one, Miles Davis. He opened my eyes to the possibility of Jazz and subgenres to Jazz. He had the great ability to spot and harness talent.”
What does music education mean to you? Is there an experience where knowledge of music gave you a unique opportunity?
“I am a public school pre-k to 8th-grade teacher and try to expose many different kinds of music to the students. Being able to talk about the elements of music and explain why you like or don’t like a piece of music is very important. Studying music can spark a lifelong interest and passion, as it did for me. I went on a big tour of the American South and Midwest with a drum core for two months. I love having the opportunity to visit different places and meet people with the same interests.”
How has having a music mentor helped you with your musical successes?
“I had a drum teacher in high school who helped shape me as a musician. Musically he taught me almost everything I know - problem-solving, developing relationships, and to not take everything too seriously. Some of the lessons and tips he showed me years ago I still pass onto my students today.”
What are you listening to right now?
“Ben Folds, Phish, and JoJo Mayer”
In what ways has the local Burlington music scene influenced you?
“I moved to Burlington, Vermont six years ago and didn’t know anyone. I joined a local band and my circle of friends then grew from all over the music scene. The tight-knit community here helped me get a foot in the door for jobs and opportunities in the Burlington area. Friends come to your shows and you go to friends shows and the positive energy comes full circle. The music scene here helped me become successful not only as a musician but as a person.”
If you could give aspiring musicians one piece of advice what would it be?
“Listen to every piece of music you possibly can, even if you don’t initially like it. Be able to talk about it and think about it. You’ll find a lot of cool stuff.”
Who are some of your favorite local artists?
“Revive, Swimmer … Matt Dalaver’s side projects are great, he’s doing a lot for the music scene and has a good work ethic, Arron Castle - he’s a great writer, Cricket Blue- I played with some members it's really incredible stuff, Dan Ryan and Ray Vega.”
If you could take one album with you on a deserted island what would it be?
“Beethoven's third sympathy. There is lots of depth and goes into so many different directions.”
What do you do when not at the Dojo?
“Read, run, rehearse and gig. I like to walk and run by the water. I love Burlington’s restaurants and going out to eat too. I spend most of my time rehearsing though, lots and lots of rehearsing.”
What is your spirit animal?
“Wow! I’ve never thought about that. Maybe a cat. I am lazy yet very motivated when I need to be. Actually… I don’t know let me think more on that.”
Pancakes or waffles?
“No sweets for breakfast.”
If you could play a gig at a place that wasn’t a venue where would it be?
“I just thought about this yesterday. Grand Canyon.”
If you could tour and travel one country where would you tour?
“Madagascar - lots of cool stuff happening there.”
What is your favorite thing about teaching here?
“The music community. The other teachers are very friendly and welcoming. The growing little community here is great.”