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New Teacher Profile: Jonny Beckett

Post By: Elise (story), Josie (photograph), Anna (editor)

This year, there is a new music teacher in CMS, and a few students decided to interview him. His name is Jonny Beckett, and he has, as he says, a special connection to music. Beckett says that as a child, he always wanted to play the saxophone, and eventually found one for $32.50 in a pawn shop. His father taught Jonny the basics of how to play the saxophone, and then he took jazz saxophone lessons.

Around the age of eighteen, Jonny became a professional jazz musician. Jonny Beckett has been in a professional band for a very long time, but is in many smaller bands. Even though his band is a funk band, it has a lot of jazz incorporated into it. Beckett encourages students to see him and his band play.

Jonny Beckett has a very strong relationship with music, and describes it as kind of like marriage. He says : “It is something I need, it’s like a marriage; you love it, need it, give and take, it’s hard.” As he said, he loves music, and needs it in his life, but at the same time, he struggles when he tries to become a better musician. He also thinks that many people feel this way. Beckett loves all music, but has a special connection with jazz. When asked why, he said that jazz is very complex, and has many interesting different elements, but at the same time, has a lot of improvisation and freedom. “There is a solid framework, but within that framework there is a lot of freedom”. He advises possible future musicians to be truly dedicated, self-motivated, and work really hard.

Until Beckett’s friend Tom Faux, the former music teacher at CMS, introduced him to CMS, Jonny didn’t know much about it, except from just driving by. Beckett was at first unsure about what to do here, and his teaching here is still, in his words, a work in progress. When Beckett started teaching at CMS, he was amazed at how intelligent everyone was.

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