What was your favorite class at Highland Hall, and why?
Handbells with Janet Vrudny: I fell in love with this class because it taught me the power of working together as a team to create something bigger than ourselves. In that class as an individual you only have a few notes to play in a few different styles, so teamwork was imperative to complete any given piece of music. The idea of working alongside others in order to create something bigger than ourselves stuck with me.
Are there any particular lessons you learned from your classes at Highland Hall that you use in your line of work?
Aside from this idea of teamwork mentioned in the previous question, yes. With the way the music industry is moving it’s important to not only have audio content, but rather a whole brand consisting of a range of multimedia. While at Highland Hall I was given a unique set of skills that ranged from music to art to even something as unique as blacksmithing or book binding. With that said, I wasn't able to master everything I was taught to a point of professionalism, but I learned that having even the slightest grasp on any type of art (be it music, painting, or drawing) gave me the ability to manage projects and work with others in very organized and fluid ways. At the end of the day being able to understand and relate to others in a creative way — even if it isn't your chosen profession is very important... at least to me. It's almost like being able to speak enough of a different language to navigate through a country and still have a good time :).
What skills or abilities did Highland Hall help foster and grow?
My understanding of music which to this day has been my North Star. I was never a trained musician and I never took private lessons. This place had so many different avenues to explore musical creativity and as someone who has never absorbed information in a traditional sense I was given the opportunity to explore which style of music/instrument suited me. While at Highland Hall I was in the vocal choir, recorder ensemble, orchestra, guitar ensemble and the handbell choir.
Now as a producer who deals with around 100+ tracks of audio per song, I now know how it all fits together to form a cohesive piece of music. Back in high school I just liked bouncing around and playing all the different instruments. Fast forward 10 years and it makes sense to me that I was just sampling all of the worlds styles and sounds to form my own sound. I was given that opportunity. I wasn't forced to stick with something with the fear of failure in mind. No child needs to have that emotion or mental conflict at such a young age.
In your opinion, what makes Highland Hall Waldorf School different from other schools?
At any standard school a book will be given to you and you must make sense of what was written with the guide of a teacher. This teaches you to absorb information, 75% of which will most likely be forgotten by the end of your high school career.
At Highland Hall the same book will be given, but there is another variable... you are given a book with blank pages where you get to make sense of the subject in your own vision. You are not just remembering what someone has written and taught you, but rather you get to process information in your own way and make your own book.