REDDING, Conn. -- Performing music goes much deeper than just playing the correct notes, said David Morgan, owner of the Music Shed in Redding.
Performing music “is about playing with a certain kind of feeling and emotion. It’s about letting your soul come through the instrument — both individually and as a band," Morgan said.
At the Music Shed, founded by Morgan in 2009, students learn everything that goes into playing in a band: learning songs, playing with a steady beat and grooving, listening well and communicating with other band members, and having a good stage presence.
“I work it so they are more like a band of musicians that are of similar ability levels and ages,” said Morgan, 48, who plays piano, drums, guitar and bass, and also sings and writes music.
Playing in a band teaches students how to connect with other musicians. "It’s empowering and motivating for them to feel the power of the music with other kids," he said.
Morgan has a bachelor's degree in jazz studies from the University of New Orleans. He studied with American jazz pianist Ellis Marsalis and has performed and toured worldwide with actress and singer Jane Lynch. Also, he has performed and recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Wes Anderson and Peter Himmelman. He writes music for CBS Sports, Discovery, A&E, and MTV. For 15 years, Morgan was musical director and producer for singer and songwriter Neshama Carlebach.
Morgan stresses the importance of playing with emotion.
"When my students are playing but I'm not feeling the emotion from them, I will stop them and encourage them to close their eyes and try to feel something deeply — and express that through their instrument," he said.
It's extremely rewarding when students start to "really get it and they play in the way that they really feel," Morgan said.
"That means that they are in the zone," he said.
As a working musician, he brings a lifetime of real world experience to his students.
"I have the knowledge of many different styles of music and the awareness of what it really takes to be in a working band with professional musicians, as well as knowing what audiences want," he said.
On March 9 at the Mark Twain Library in Redding, Morgan will be performing with his band, the Portal Band. To register for the event, click here . For more information on The Music Shed, 75 Sherman Turnpike, call 203-240-6790, click here for his website and here for his Facebook page.