From High School Drummer to Playing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Phil Madeira

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Talking Up Music Education is a podcast from The NAMM Foundation about music education. Episode 39 includes an interview with Phil Madeira, a multi-award winning, multi-instrumentalist, who has played alongside the likes of Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Garth Brooks, and more. 

“My mother would tell you that I came out of the womb drumming, and so drums were my passion. Still are,” said Madeira. “I was just a kid who wanted to play drums [and] school band was the opportunity to do that.”

In this episode, Madeira talks about his musical beginnings as a drummer in his high school marching band, his current piano-centric solo record, and playing in front of millions on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Sound Bites From the Podcast

“Music education is not a priority in our country, and I think it ought to be.” – Phil Madeira

“Learning music really creates a better person over a lifetime, you know?” – Phil Madeira

“As a parent of two daughters, I believe my daughters are here on this earth for a reason beyond just living [and] breathing [and] it's up to me to be listening and to be mindful. My daughter, Maddie, when she was five she wanted a guitar. She was a lefty. So I called Dan Blom, my luthier. I said, ‘Dan, if I buy Maddie a little Yamaha guitar, a little juvenile-size guitar, can you set it up for a left hander?’ He said, ‘Well, I can, but she'll be limited if I do that.’ I said, ‘Well, how so?’ He said, ‘Well, she'll never be able to borrow someone's guitar.’ I said, ‘Just leave it right-handed. She'll figure it out.’ Which she did. She's a real accomplished player. All that to say, do we believe in our kids? Do we believe that there are aspirations to achieve that might bring peace to someone?” – Phil Madeira

Talking Up Music Education is a podcast produced by The NAMM Foundation about music education. Host Mary Luehrsen chats with teachers, parents, students and community leaders who share stories about what they are doing to create music learning opportunities. Please download, share and subscribe to keep up with the stories that make a difference in music education advocacy.

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