#CHTeacherTuesday

Jason Lee Bruns / Secondary World Music + Recording Arts

How long have you been a teacher?
I have been teaching in some capacity or another for around 21 years. My passion for teaching began when I started giving drum lesson as a part-time job during my senior year of high school. During undergrad at Miami University (OH) I taught marching band drum lines to students in nearby high schools. During graduate school I taught for USC’s Jazz Reach and created/facilitated group drumming programs for L.A.’s Best. I was teaching for "A Place Called Home” (an after school center for at-risk-youth) just before receiving a forwarded email from the Whiting's (CH Music Teachers) about a percussion position at Campbell Hall in 2005. Replying to that email resulted in me now being in my 14th year as a Viking!

What do you love most about teaching at Campbell Hall?
What I love most about teaching at Campbell Hall is the sense of community that is felt both on and off of campus. It’s great to see parents and students at my professional jazz shows and bumping into students, alumni, and parents around town. I would also consider some of my CH colleagues my closest friends. Campbell Hall has given my big city experience a wholesome small town feel that’s reminiscent of my midwest upbringing. The administration here is so supportive of us teaching what we are passionate about. The students can sense this enthusiasm. The fact that I get to come to “work” everyday and share my musical passions with open-minded students using world-class instruments and state-of-the art studio recording equipment is a blessing that I don’t take for granted.

What do you love to do outside of school/what are your hobbies?
When not on campus I enjoy staying fit with lots of yoga, lap swimming, and trail running. My students always have a good laugh when I demonstrate some crazy yoga inversions for them. It’s fun to see parents on a mat next to me at a yoga class or to pass them on the trail at Fryman Canyon. I am also into snowboarding, which I didn’t pick up until moving from Ohio to California in 2002. During school breaks I sometimes travel for music research to enrich the curriculum of my classes and to stay artistically inspired. So far I’ve been to Cuba, West Africa, several regions of Brazil, and Trinidad & Tobago. I also play shows with my band. On a recent Spring Break we did 8 shows in Tokyo and next Spring Break I am going to Columbia to study the influential rhythm known as “Cumbia”.

What is the most rewarding part of your CH day?
The most rewarding part of my day at Campbell Hall is witnessing the students excitement when they first play through a song from beginning to end at a high quality of musicianship. It’s a feeling that can’t be explained but only experienced.

What inspires you?
Both performing and teaching music has been extremely inspirational to me. It has gotten me through life’s up’s and down's, kept me focused, and provided me with incredible opportunities. I am lucky and blessed for the opportunity to teach at CH, and I live each day with gratitude because of it.
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