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Senior Send-off: Brendan Oliver

 by Aaron Sizemore

drum student Brendan Oliver

Brendan Oliver started with us as a beginner and then climbed his way to the top. He not only plays drums in our jazz combo, but also holds the drum chair in one of our top-level Mastery bands. Yes, he's talented, but more importantly, this young man has a strong work ethic.

"Brendan has a love and passion for music that is off the charts and always finds time to practice," says his drum teacher, Steve Thomas. "He not only listens to ALL styles of music, he spends enormous amounts of time looking up the artists online to find out more about them. In fact, most times I find it very hard to "stump" him with a music trivia question!"

Here's what Ryan had to say when we interviewed him.

What instruments do you play?

I play drumset as well as a lot of percussion instruments in band at school. Also 4 years in the marching band.

How long have you been playing music?

Since 7th grade so 5 or 6 years.

What are your plans for after graduating high school? If you're going to college, do you know what you'll be studying?

My plans now are to go to JCCC and work full-time at Best Buy to make some money.

How do you think music will be a part of your life after Music House?

I plan to continue to play drums and start a band on the side. It would be cool to be able to play around town for fun and make a little extra cash.

What is a moment at Music House that you'll never forget?

One of the coolest things that happened to me at Music House was when my jazz band won the People's Choice award at the Battle of the Bands and we got to play a gig at The Bottleneck in Lawrence! Another great moment was when the lead singer in the Mastery Band I was playing in, left the band with less than a week until we were to perform at this year's Battle of the Bands. With only one rehearsal left, we had to completely change our set to only instrumentals! We decided to just go for it! When we performed at the Battle a few days later we ended up winning the Judges Award for Best Band!

What advice do you have for Music House students who are just starting to learn to play music?

Practice! Just because it doesn't happen right away, doesn't mean it won't. It takes time and it doesn't happen overnight. It will be so worth it in the end. Once you have mastered your instrument, it won't be a chore. It will just be fun!

What will you miss most about Music House?

Being able to just show up at Music House with my just my sticks and be able to sit down at a drum set and play music with my friends. Everything is set up there and ready to go.

What's the best piece of musical advice you've received?

Don't overplay. Keep it simple, play what works for the song and not for yourself.

What do you hope to remember most about your best performance at Music House?

The chemistry between the band members and that feeling of the response from the crowd as they were cheering at the end of the show!

Free eBook - Get started in music with over 20 pages of helpful tips

Written by Aaron Sizemore
Aaron Sizemore
Co-founder & Executive Director at Music House