Staff Spotlight: Teri Quinn
What's your main instrument & why?
Clarinet! I've always loved the versatility of the clarinet. It’s such an expressive instrument that is so close to the human voice. You hear it in all sorts of genres; from symphonies to jazz bands to indie rock bands. It's also extremely challenging and I'm always up for a good challenge.
What's your musical origin story? What lit the spark for you?
My musical journey started at Christmas of 1994. Jurassic Park had just been released on VHS and my parents gifted me my first playskool keyboard. That night we were watching Jurassic Park (my parents didn't shelter what I watched when I was young) and I had my keyboard and began plunking out the main theme by ear. From then on my parents were convinced I had a gift and steered me in all sorts of musical directions.
In 5th grade I picked up the clarinet and somehow always knew that music was going to be a big part of my life. In high school, I began clarinet lessons and started playing in youth symphonies. At the same time I discovered the world of indie music and songwriters. I picked up the guitar and began to write my own tunes and would frequent open mics.
The first band I was ever in was a ska band in high school playing tenor saxophone. The trombone player didn't actually know how to play the trombone so I would have him blow into his horn while I moved the slide around til' I found the right note and would mark it with a sharpie. We only played two shows in our bandmates garage.
Can you share a good gig story?
Many moons ago, I played clarinet for an indie rock band called Claire and the Crowded Stage. One year we drove down to Austin, Texas for SXSW. We were super sleep deprived and had a show midday. Our show was on an outdoor stage. When we took the stage, we saw a thunderstorm rolling in but decided to play anyway hoping to beat the rain. We didn't make it. Despite sleep deprivation and impending rain, we were playing a great set when finally the rain swooshed in and we scattered off the stage. The stage was cleared in a matter of seconds. It was wild.
Tell us about your practice routine and share some practice tips.
I try to practice at least a half hour a day to keep my clarinet chops up. I don't practice the hours I did in college but I make sure to practice smart. I NEVER practice without a metronome. That is the most valuable tip I can give anyone of any instrument. Never practice without a metronome.
What drew you to the Music House team?
I first began at Music House subbing for my friend Russel Thorpe who was the previous Clarinet and Saxophone teacher. I really enjoyed teaching and it invigorated my own love of music. When Russel left and Music House asked me to join the team, I didn't hesitate. I was drawn to Music Houses structure, organization, and commitment to providing students with the best musical education. I was also drawn to the idea of possibly teaching a band as that is my forte. My musical values align with what Music House stands for.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Not only am I teaching but I am also learning. My students teach me something new every week. Teaching has leveled up my own musicality and I am thankful to Music House for providing me this opportunity.