Music Teacher and Young Rockers Support Families in Need

Steve Adubato talks with Jesse Ryan, music teacher at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School,who discusses the unique music program at his school and how their annual benefit concert helps local families in need.

4/10/17 #2024






"We are pleased to be joined by Jesse Ryan, Music teacher, Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in beautiful Freehold, New Jersey. How are you doing? I'm doing great. It's good to be here. Music teacher? You're a music teacher? I am. When did you know that music was your love and teaching was your love? It kind of crept up on me, honestly. I just kind of stumbled upon it. I didn't really have anyone in the family that was musical. I just had a piano in the basement, and I just... You played it? Yeah, I didn't know anything about it. I just made noise on it for a while and little by little, it became more a part of my life. So, I started writing music and jamming with friends.In high school, my father passed and I used it as a way to get through that a little bit and I really started writing a lot. Hmm. And then I realized that this is something that I wanted to do so I ended up going to college for music. Not to be a teacher? Not to be. Well, I didn't not want to be a teacher. That wasn't... I went to music school because that was my passion at the time. I felt like this is what I wanted to do and so I went to Berkeley and surrounded myself with a bunch of people that helped me grow and I ended up signing up for a mentor program and we were working with kids in Boston. And I really enjoyed it. It still wasn't like my goal. My parents were teachers too though. So maybe that was in the back of my mind. Something happened, because you're connecting now, and as part of our Classroom... as part of the partnership with the New Jersey Education Association, this is part of our Classroom Closeup collaboration. A great series that the NJEA has with our partners at NJTV. This is a feature on you and your work at Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School in Freehold, New Jersey. This is Jesse Ryan, music education. Let's just play the whole song. End it however you think you're supposed to and then we'll correct it after that, okay? Jesse Ryan's love of music is undeniable. My whole mission as a music teacher is to make kids love music in any way possible. Before Jesse became a teacher he played in a rock band that toured the US and Japan, but the school of rock type of program that he created has become his passion. This year, the name of the band is called "Static". That's the 8th grade performance class. We're putting on a concert tonight and..."