Note-worthy Experiences Music Studio
F E A T U R E
Interview with Josh Wareham
F E A T U R E
Interview with Josh Wareham
What is your favorite genre of music?
Ever since I was a kid I’ve loved listening to many different styles of music. For example, when I was little my favorite music was orchestral movie soundtracks, as well as the classic rock and folk music that my dad played in the car. Meanwhile, my mom always had opera on in the house and played classical piano at night. I started listening to a lot of classical music in high school, and today I listen to everything from Beethoven to Radiohead to Beyoncé, and many more in between!
How old were you when you first learned to play an instrument?
I had a few chances to play recorder and hand bells in elementary school, but the first time I decided I really wanted to learn to play an instrument was when I chose to play viola in my middle school orchestra when I was 10. I wanted an instrument that was easy to carry around, and my mom suggested viola because according to her fewer people played viola than violin, and over the years I totally fell in love with its sound!
Who were some of your most inspiring teachers?
When I was in graduate school I was very fortunate to be able to study with Carol Rodland. She always inspires her students to push themselves to expand their playing and musicianship to new levels, while emphasizing that the process of learning an instrument is a truly joyful and fulfilling one. However, one of the things I love so much about teaching is how much I learn from my students! Every student brings so many unique perspectives, and it’s always amazing to discover the different ways we all respond to music and our instrument!
What was your most memorable performance?
I think that every opportunity someone has to share their art and expression with others is a truly special moment, and I always try to keep this in mind no matter where I’m playing or who I’m playing for. I remember feeling this way for the first time when performing with my youth orchestra in Minnesota, and that feeling of sharing an emotional experience with an audience through music has never left me.
What do you like most about teaching young musicians?
I love the energy, excitement, and sense of possibility that young people bring to music. However, one of the most inspiring things I get to experience with my students is their power of imagination. I think that letting your imagination guide your musical decisions is one of the most important skills to learn as a musician. By practicing technique and repertoire we can work on developing the tools we need to express ourselves, but the initial spark of creativity that serves as the source of our musical goals is very special, and I love seeing this imagination manifest itself in many different ways in each student.
What is your advice for students who want to learn a new instrument or improve their playing?
I would encourage anyone learning an instrument to think about finding balance in what they do. It is important to find the motivation and discipline to build a technique that will allow us to express ourselves, but we should always balance this with a sense of joy and love for music and what we do with it. Similarly, I think that setting high standards for oneself and striving towards ambitious goals is one of the greatest things we can learn through music, but it is also essential that we find fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment in small achievements and daily progress. Also, one of the most exciting parts of learning an instrument is achieving a continually deeper understanding of the craft, but at the same time music and performance is at its most natural when we are able to strike a healthy balance between thinking and feeling.
When you are not performing or teaching what do you like to do?
In addition to performing and teaching, I also enjoy producing a wide variety of electronic music ranging from dance and hip-hop to improvisatory chamber music pieces and podcast theme songs. Beyond music, I love going running almost every day, and also learning about environmental sustainability and lifestyles that are healthy for both people and the planet!
To learn more about Josh, please visit his Teacher Page.