We are thrilled to welcome Drew Robertson to the viola/violin faculty at Mason Community Arts Academy. Drew is a Suzuki-certified teacher who holds a degree in Viola Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Nazareth College and completed coursework toward a Master’s degree in Music Therapy before realizing that teaching was his true calling! Faculty Coordinator Claire Allen sat down with Drew to get to know more about him and his teaching.
CAllen: What excites you the most about joining the music faculty at the Academy?
DRobertson: I am thrilled to join with such a fantastic group of artist players, to meet the wonderful students at MCAA, and all the incredible opportunities this school has to offer! Theory classes, chamber music, summer camps, beginner classes, student recitals, composition- there is so much MCAA has to offer, and I’m excited to be a part of it!
CAllen: How did you first fall in love with music?
DRobertson: There is no single moment I fell in love with music, but there have been plenty of magical moments along the way. I remember when I first discovered I could shake the floor with the sound of my instrument. I remember the first time I heard the Cleveland Orchestra play; that was magical. I love the thrill of competing in concerto competitions and the friendship and joy of playing chamber music with friends.
As odd as it sounds, I love the thrill of practicing! A tricky passage is like a puzzle, and I love trying many strategies to unlock it: relaxing tension, finding a good fingering, coordinating the bow, increasing the tempo, then looping it until it’s perfect. I find the entire process immensely satisfying.
CAllen: Tell us about a teaching experience you had that was especially memorable.
DRobertson: My conservatory teacher surprised me one day and texted me to meet him at Severance Hall, the home of the Cleveland Orchestra. When I arrived, he took me on a tour of the hall – the beautiful organ, George Szell’s study, the orchestra library, the recital hall, and finally the main hall. It was completely silent, with a completely open stage, and all the lights prepared for a concert. I will never forget that moment. Playing solo Bach on that stage was unforgettable.
CAllen: What are some unique things you do when you teach?
DRobertson: I’m a scientist at heart, so I bring all sorts of things into my lessons. I love doing physics demonstrations, breaking things down with music theory, and telling crazy stories about the great musicians.
CAllen: Do you have any pets? If so, tell us about them. If not, tell us the type of pet you would like to have.
DRobertson: I have an adopted cattle dog mix named Hedy. She is sweet and gentle and absolutely loves children. We love hiking together and going on road trips. If I look extra tired one day, it’s probably Hedy’s fault since she snores.
CAllen: What else would you like our community to know about you?
DRobertson: I absolutely love Legos! I collect the minifigures and love building the Technic and Creator models the most!
This fall, along with private lessons, Mr. Robertson will be teaching Music Discoveries for young children ages 4-6, Violin Beginnings for ages 4-7, and Chamber Ensemble for more experienced students.