From: Ann Arbor, MI
Studying: Horn Performance & Music Education
Favorite Brew: House Blends with dash of milk
Carrie Rexroat: How did you get started in music?
Dan Skib: My first experience with music was as a violinist, but I did that for about three years and I hated it. I did like music though, and kept at it in school. My crowning achievement was when I played Mozart in my 3rd grade musical, and eventually I started horn in 5th grade. I picked it because I thought the tubes looked really cool. Later I realized this is a really exciting instrument, and now we’re here.
CR: Why pursue a career in music? What about it attracted you more than other careers?
DS: For me, there's two sides of it. My middle school band director, Tom Millard, influenced me immensely. He took no crap, and as a 6th grader it terrified me. As I got to know him better I realized it wasn’t because he didn’t like us, it was because he had incredibly high expectations. That inspired me a lot to really push and make things happen. As a teacher, I want to use that experience and influence kids as best as I can, helping them to enjoy music as much as I have over the years. Regarding performance, in 10th grade I did the Michigan Youth Arts Festival which was my first experience playing in a really good orchestra. Before then I’d never seen so many kids my age so passionate about what they were doing, but we played the Finale from Mahler 1, and the connection with other musicians I had made a huge impression on me.
CR: It’s hard to know how you can leave your footprint in the music industry, but what one thing do you hope to accomplish as a teacher and performer?
DS: That’s tough. As a teacher, I don’t want to become a music major factory. Instead, I want to make people excited about going to concerts, and find a way to draw connections between people through music. Music is a decor of culture, and I see that as a starting place to understanding people. So, if by the end of my career I taught people how to interact and associate themselves to others through sound and music, I’ll be happy.
CR: That’s awesome! In relation to wellness, are you currently taking advantage of any of the resources that are offered? Do you think it’s important?
DS: It’s definitely important. I honestly did not know anything about it until recently, but there’s so much that we do with our bodies that’s not natural *laughter*. As I get older I've started to notice things, like why my arm twitches sometimes. So I’m definitely going to try to use the program more. I don’t know how it is at other schools, but I see it being pretty crucial.