A Chat With Chris Marro

This week in the blog we’re going to have a chat with Midcoast School of Music co-owner and teacher Chris Marro. Chris is a busy man. He is currently the Director of Percussion for the Westbrook and Cape Elizabeth school departments. In addition to that he maintains a full complement of private students. While attending to his responsibilities as a business owner he also plays in and co-manages a much-in-demand nine piece band as well as picking up gigs with other bands as a sought after drummer. In his leisure hours he retreats to his home with his lovely wife, Janice, their not-quite two year old daughter, and his beloved bulldog.

Q: When did you start playing the drums?

A: “I got a snare drum when I was about 10 years old. My brother was involved in Band at school and brought it home. I was hooked from then on. I played in the middle school Concert Band and in High School I played in Concert Band, Jazz Band, Wind ensemble and Marching Band. That was also when I got involved with ‘Southern Maine Youth Percussion Ensemble’ -a competitive drumline. I really loved being involved with that and it had a big influence.

Q: When did you start teaching?

A: “I started teaching at ‘The Drum Shop’ in Portland when I was nineteen. My teacher had an overflow of students that I picked up. Shortly after that I got hired to teach in the Westbrook Marching Band”.

Q: Tell me about your teaching experience since then

A: “Lets see- I was with the Wesbrook Marching Band for four years. I taught at ‘The Drum Shop’ for ten years and ‘The Tony Boffa’ school of contemporary music for nine years.

Q: Do you have an overriding teaching philosophy?

A: “I think its important to connect with my students in a way that makes music fun and enjoyable. I want them to be excited about learning the instrument so the material we work on needs to be relatable. But at the same time, I like to emphasize music literacy and fundamentals so they will be functional musicians going forward”

Q: Why did you decide to start the Music School?

A: “Matt (Fogg, MSOM co-owner) and I wanted to start a place that offered the things we felt were needed but were never available when we began playing: a place with an integrated experience where students could benefit from individual instruction and play in a structured ensemble setting. You really need to do both to develop and mature as musician”

Q:What are you listening to this week?

A: “I’ve been listening to Harry Connick Jr.’s ‘She’ album- the one with George Porter and Zigaboo Modeliste from the Meters. Also a couple of Radiohead albums- ‘OK Computer’ and ‘The Bends’. And Dave Matthews Band ‘Under the Table and Dreaming’ always seems to be in the rotation too…”

Q: Any local bands you recommend?

A: “I really like ‘The Tone Kings’. I just saw them at ‘The Frog and Turtle’ and they were fantastic. Great musicians. They’re worth checking out…”

Dont forget the MSOM showcase at The Stockhouse on Monday November 12!!!

Comments are closed.