More About Brandon Clark
What is your musical background?
I was self-taught all the way. My mom had a musical background, and my uncle played guitar, but when I was 11 I found a guitar lying around and picked it up and just started teaching myself. It didn't take long for me to become interested in playing the drums, and my parents bought me a drum set that Christmas.
Of course, there were plenty of garage bands throughout middle school, but I got a little more official when I started high school. During high school, I did drumline and was in jazz band. Our jazz band teacher was a solid teacher and a solid guy. He inspired me to work hard and be professional, not just as a musician but as a human. I learned a lot from him.
Up until about a year ago, I played regularly for six years with a group. We started getting asked to play locally and then travelled all over Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Kansas for several years. We did a lot of youth stuff but also other church-wide events.
We're all pretty busy at this point so not actively booking anymore, but that time was a big part of my story. I was able to fall in love with worship and this idea of coming together as a group of people. Regardless of how different we are individually, together we're all singing to the same God.
I led worship at a church in Carrollton for the past two years, and ultimately I feel called to be a worship leader. Music for me is what I feel God has given me as a channel for worship and for testimony.
Why do you teach?
Well, first, teaching is important. Because I was self-taught, there were bad habits that I had to unlearn and things that, had I known all along, would have made the process much easier.
Aside from that, I teach to inspire and challenge, I love that I can be a part of students learning about themselves, and as a teacher I get to be on their sidelines for that process. I have the opportunity to encourage and have lessons that are positive and life-giving. Together with the student, we can learn to push through the hard stuff. That's a pretty cool thing to get to do as a teacher.
Even if students don't stick with music, they've learned something. Maybe it's just one song or a small life lesson, but now they can play one song that other people can't, and they got to do something they enjoy.
Why do you love music?
I love music because there's no limit to it. I mean, it's just a very open channel for expression. There's things that have been done over and over again, but even now there's still new things being done every day, every year. It's so freeing to have a medium where you can express yourself but maybe even express what others have done on different days. It's not static. You can do something fresh every time you pick up an instrument.
What are some principles you want your students to learn?
I want students to use music as a way to see what they're made of. The lessons they learn while playing an instrument can be applied to so many areas of their life. I also want a culture to be established early on where my students see music as a way to worship. Seeing it as that is a pretty cool thing and so valuable to learn upfront.
On a practical level, I want them to learn consistency. It's easy to learn a couple of things, and then it's even easier to hit a wall and be stuck. They need to learn to push through when it becomes challenging and practice even on the days they don't want to.
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