Teacher Feature: Reid Muchow

Reid Muchow

Next in the “Teacher Feature” lineup is Reid Muchow! Reid has been teaching at MTC for 2 years. He is a Springfield native and currently teaches percussion, piano, guitar, and vocals. Reid has lived in both Chicago and New Orleans as part of his musical journey, and has a huge variety of experience that he pulls from when working with all of his students. We asked Reid to tell us a little more about himself. Check out what he shared:

Tell us about your background.

I started playing drums on a drum set that I made out of boxes and duct tape. I played drums throughout high school and discovered my dad’s record collection which exposed me to genres like jazz, soul, funk, classical, and rock. This gave me an interest in learning many different instruments and in many styles of music. I studied music with professor Jane Hartman at LLCC in Springfield, IL for a 2 years and moved to Chicago in 2008 to study jazz music at Roosevelt University studying with drummer Paul Wertico (Pat Metheny Group), music theorist Scott Mason and composition and arrangement with Tom Garling(Buddy Rich, Maynard Fergusson).  

After graduating in 2011, I performed internationally and nationally with several groups including Chicago based-groups The O’My’s, And The Heard and currently I am in Memphis blues artist Brandon Santini’s band.

What else have you done musically?

  • Performed at Lollapalooza 2011
  • Played at Edmonton Blues Fest in 2016
  • Performed with Chance The Rapper
  • Been on an album that’s been in the Billboard top 100 (ZZ Ward – Til’ The Casket Drops 2012) playing drums
  • Currently on Grammy nominated Chicago artist Vic Mensa’s 2017 album The Autobiography playing drums  

What is your favorite:

Color – Red

Food – Pizza

Game – Monopoly

Day of the week – Friday

Non-musical activity – Yoga

Music to play – anything as long as it’s good music!

Do you have a weird talent? I can pop my toes without my hands

What else do you enjoy doing? I enjoy playing with my 2 cats Lucy and Simba, reading, doing yoga and exercise, cooking, recording music, and spending time with my girlfriend Rachel.  

For more about Reid, check out his personal website:  reidmuchow.com

Why Music? One Teacher & Therapist’s Story

I will never forget the first time I performed.

I was thirteen if I remember correctly. I was wearing a pink shirt and jeans and my mother’s perfume. We drove up on an old school in Patterson, Illinois and hopped out of my dad’s truck. I remember buying our tickets, passing the scent cloud of popcorn and chili as I walked into the old school gym. The basketball hoops were up and the nets swayed in the breeze of the four foot fans blowing air through the gym on that summer night.

At the time, I had no idea what an opry was, but my teacher had suggested that I perform there. Little did I know that I would fall in love for the first time that night.

I was shaking as I took the stage and grabbed ahold of the microphone, waiting for the band to start playing my song. Once I sang the first words of “Independence Day” by Martina McBride the rest just fell out of my mouth. I watched as my mom breathed a sigh of relief, my dad smiled, and my grandmother who always loved my music in a way I can’t understand even now, laid back in her chair as if she wasn’t surprised at all. In the blink of an eye, it was over and I was in love, not with the thrill of being on stage, but that moment. When I looked out to see my family and they were experiencing that moment with me. We were in it together.

It has been a little over ten years and a music degree since that day. I was just out at an open mic last weekend. I performed a few of my favorites for my family, which has now grown to include my husband. Even now I go back to that place. When I’m performing, I drop my titles. For three minutes I am not Alisabeth the music therapist, the teacher, the daughter, the wife; I am just me. And even better, that is when I get to share just me, with the world.

When people ask me “why music?”, the answer is simple:

Music is where I see myself. It is where I am safe, in love, happy, angry, sad, and everything in between. Music is where I see my grandmother who moved on years ago. Music is where I can be myself.

This is why I do what I do. I hope to share my music and myself with my clients and students to help them grow and learn. This is my story.

What’s yours?

Adult Piano Lessons in Springfield, Illinois

The Breakthroughs & Why You Should Try Lessons Again

We all have those moments. Heres my most distinct breakthrough as a therapist, teacher, and musician.

It was my fourth semester studying music therapy at Western Illinois University. I was in my required weekly voice lesson. I chose voice as my primary instrument and honestly had no idea what commitment I was making. My professors office was small, cramped, and there was sheet music on top of her upright, acoustic, and slightly out of tune piano. It was humid and the windows were open allowing a warm breeze to fly through the room on occasion.

I was practicing a German art song when my professor stopped me, for the fifth time and the same reason. I just. Couldn’t. Get. The note. If I remember correctly its was a G… that pesky G. I had convinced myself that because I couldn’t sing that note the way I wanted to the first time, that I would never be able to do it.

She knew I was wrong.

It was in that pause that she had a talk with me that I would repeat to my students in the future.

“We are all growing. We have all built walls. When something challenges us we have to chose to say no, you’re wrong, you CAN do this. you WILL do this.”

We began the song and I did it. I hit the G. I achieved the impossible — or apparently, the possible.

As a therapist and a teacher at Music Therapy Connections I have these talks frequently. I try to encourage my students of all ages regularly, especially when I can see that they have hit a wall. I know that all of our teachers at MTC do the same. My favorite days are when I get to witness a student having a breakthrough. Those days are why I love what I do.

So, if you..

1. Have taken lessons (voice, guitar, or piano alike) and quit for whatever reason, but still want to learn.

2. Have tried to teach yourself, but felt stuck or frustrated with some of the material.

3. Have taught yourself how to play but feel as though you can’t reach your full potential because you haven’t had a chance to learn the theory.

Then click the link below and register and someone from our team will email you to help you find the right teacher, day, and time to help you finally achieve your breakthrough!

Adult Piano Lessons in Springfield, Illinois