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Teacher Feature: Spencer "Spike" Johnson | The Music Gallery

Spike playing guitar with Spiderman

Spencer "Spike" Johnson

MG: Do you have any hobbies or interests apart from music?

S:  I grew up skateboarding, although I don't get on the board as much as I used to. I also play basketball and am a huge NBA fan

MG: What sparked your interest in music and has kept you playing?
S:  When I was in middle school grunge music was popular and bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden, and Smashing Pumpkins are what first motivated me to pick up a guitar. There were a few bands at my school and eventually, I joined one. As I got older my musical taste widened and got into lots of different genres of music, from jazz to folk to punk rock. In 2005 I formed a band (The Yolks) with my brother and a friend and we have been playing ever since. We have played across the country and written and recorded a few albums and that experience that has kept me motivated to keep playing

MG: Have you learned any valuable life-skills through music?
S:  I am a believer in turning your weaknesses into strengths, and this is something that I have learned through music. It is natural to focus on the things that come easy to you, but when you put effort into the things that are more of a challenge, you really grow

MG: What do you enjoy most about leading Music Gallery Bands?

S:  I think actually seeing the fruits of their labor is the best part, both for me and the students. Knowing that everyone is counting on each other to put on a great performance is a huge motivation, and I am always so impressed with how far they come from the first practice to the show. Playing with others and performing has been such an important part of my life and it's really cool to watch my groups take part in that experience

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