Music Education Background Encourages Black Violin to Success


“[Wil B. and I] met in orchestra class. Every day [our music teacher] Mr. Miles was very vigilant on making sure that we practiced and we played the entire hour,” said Marcus. “He pushed all of us to be better than we ever thought we could be and to realize dreams we didn’t even know existed.”

Talking Up Music Education is a podcast from The NAMM Foundation about music education. Recorded live from Midwest Band Clinic, episode eight includes interviews with special guests Kev Marcus and Wil B, from Black Violin, and the music educators who influenced them.

Sound bites from the podcast:


“The belief that you don’t have talent or you’re not musically gifted, it’s a bunch of hogwash. Everyone, if they willing to work, can learn to play.” – James Miles, music teacher

“When you’re playing [music]…make it yours. You can’t skip the scales and arpeggios, but you can take it and make it yours after orchestra period is over.” – Kev Marcus

“Our message is that you can wear fitted caps and jeans with holes in them and be cool, but play violin at a very high level and still get a scholarship to college.”- Kev Marcus

“Do that one thing that you can’t stop talking about, that passion. It may not be your job; it could be art, literature, whatever that thing is, just do it, and do it differently.” – Wil B.

Talking Up Music Education is a podcast produced by The NAMM Foundation about music education. Host Mary Luehrsen chats with teachers, parents, students and community leaders who share stories about what they are doing to create music learning opportunities. Please download, share and subscribe to keep up with the stories that make a difference in music education advocacy.