Colin Jenkins | Instructor Bio

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  • What Instruments do you teach?
    Guitar, Drums, Piano, Rock Band.

    What is your teaching philosophy?
    Have fun, practice, and have fun practicing!

    How long have you been teaching music? At YMP?
    Since, Sept, 2012.

    What is your favorite thing about teaching music?
    Watching students grow and make music their OWN thing, which helps them gain individuality and personal expression.  

    What do you expect of your students in classes/lessons?
    A willingness to practice and learn, embracing the frustrations and understanding that it’s a journey, not a destination.

  • What do you expect of student’s parents?
    I expect the parents to encourage their kids, in whatever fashion best suits their parenting style, to practice and stay engaged throughout the term.

    When did you first start playing music?
    4 years old, I played the viola as a cello because all cellos were still too big!

    What is your educational background? Did you study music in school and/or privately?
    I had private lessons on cello, piano, drums, bass and guitar throughout elementary school and high school.  I studied percussion performance and music education at North Idaho College and the University of Oregon School of music.

    Do you play in any bands / perform in the Portland area?
    Yes, I play in a group called Ages and Ages, as well as various other projects.

    What is the first song you learned how to play and how old were you?
    Besides playing Suzuki method on the Cello – When I was about 7, I had a tiny little casio keyboard, which I loved more than anything.  I have a vivid memory of figuring out the melody and accompaniment “A Groovy Kind of Love,” which I’d play with the Bossa Nova beat!

    How do you handle mistakes while practicing or during a performance?
    I embrace them! Usually if you let the audience know, in some way, that the mistake didn’t bother you, either by smiling/laughing it off, no one will ever know or care.  And in fact, the audience likes that kind of interaction with the performer.

    Describe a skill on your instrument that was a challenge and you’ve had to work very hard to achieve.
    Fingerpicking on the guitar.  When I was 13, I wanted to be like my older brother who could play “More Than Words” on the guitar.  I only knew a few chords and definitely couldn’t fingerpick. Frustrated, I shelved it for a few months, but finally came back to it – and after months and months of practicing, I could play most of the song.

    Who are your musical influences?
    Songwriters! (The behind the scenes folks who write the hits) Babyface, Burt Bacharach, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Denniz Pop, Max Martin, Dev Hynes, Serge Gainsbourg.

    What do you feel when you play music?
    When I play music with people, I feel a sense of connection and community.  So in a sense, I feel relief!

    If you had the chance to study and/or perform with any musician, living or deceased, who would it be?

    When did you know you wanted to be musician?
    When I was about 11 years old.  I remember convincing my friends that we were going to start a Green Day cover band and after that, it was on.

    If you weren’t a musician/teacher what might you be?
    Probably a professional basketball player.

    Education Credentials:
    Took private lessons on the drum set and percussion with Dan Cox, Jason Palmer, Dr. Charles Dowd and Dr. Sean Wagoner. Took private bass lessons with Thomas Rutley.  Studied percussion, drumset and Music Education at North Idaho College (associate of arts in music) and the University of Oregon.  I have a BA in Liberal Studies from Portland State University.  


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