by: Konner Scott
When I was about 11 or 12, I discovered classic rock music. That discovery blew the door off its musical hinges for me. After a (relatively short) lifetime spent learning and listening to strictly classical piano, I felt an overwhelming desire to do EVERYTHING. I wanted to write songs and lyrics. I wanted to learn guitar. I wanted to play “Right Now” by Van Halen on piano. I wanted to sing. I wanted to record myself and arrange my own compositions.
Thankfully, I had two very nurturing parents who understood my passion (and borderline obsession), and helped stoke the flames. They looked on with a smile as I attempted to figure out chord progressions by ear on our upright piano. My dad let me pilfer his acoustic guitar and showed me a few basic chords to help get me started.
Going into high school, I became the proud owner of a MacBook laptop, which allowed me to experiment with GarageBand and practice recording my own playing. At first, I reproduced covers of songs by artists I loved, but then I found I could design my own chord progressions and arrangements, write my own lyrics, and sing my own melodies.
About a year later, I started a band with my two best friends. We started writing and arranging rock songs, and had some mild success playing local shows around the area. We continued on as a band for the next ten years, up until we went our separate ways after college.
Now, as an adult, my passion for music has never waned. However, I’ve found it difficult to narrow down my focus to one or two specific lanes.
Over the past couple months, I feel as though my path has been revealed to me. More and more, I’m realizing that my true passion lies at the intersection of songwriting and music production. The other thing I’ve found is that musical skills have a wonderful trait: they all influence and enhance each other! All the time I’ve spent muddling around with different instruments, playing in bands, recording different styles of music, etc., has paid off in an interesting way: I’m a much more well-rounded and unique songwriter and producer as the result of my specific cross-section of musical experiences.
On top of that, I wonder if I would ever have realized that music production & songwriting is where my passion lies if I hadn’t had the freedom and drive to explore so many different musical lanes.
I encourage my students to explore, explore, explore! I want them to try as many different musical pursuits as they can, so I take care to never stunt their passion or dissuade them from branching out. The more musical paths you walk, the more likely you’ll find the one that’s right for you!