Hello, I'm Terry Wilding. I'm here in my office at the MSAB campus. Today with me is Justin Hughes. He himself is a SEPA at MSAB. I just wanted to take the opportunity to ask him some questions about his music, and how that applies to how he works here. There's a lot of different music activities. I'm wondering how you got started, how that connected to your work here.
Justin: Sure. Well, to answer briefly, I've been a musician since I was young, very young. My mother played piano and my father played the radio, and between the two of them, I gained quite an appreciation for music over the years. I started on trombone in elementary school and by the time I was in high school, I switched to guitar. I've been playing guitar -- jazz guitar -- and rock guitar and professionally -- semi professionally -- for years and as a hobby, I've also taught guitar lessons for a long time. I play in different musicals and I also play in a couple of different rock groups so it's a lot of fun.
Terry: your music -- how does that work assist you with your students here? How do you support the students in developing their musical skills?
Justin: Um, I kind of feel that music can be very universal and especially working with the population of students with visual impairment. Their auditory senses are so in tune. That is their main sensory input and music has this magical property that can calm you, but it can also stimulate the mind and I'm depending on the population that I'm working with. I'm in special ed, but sometimes even when I'm working with the general student population, music can be a great way to start a conversation. It's a great way to assist like the learning -- I suppose it's a great way to break the ice.
Terry: I recognize your musical activities here at school. You also have it in your personal life with a band. Can you tell me more about that?
Justin: Yes, I actually played -- I write original music -- and my wife actually became a bass guitarist a few years ago. She wanted to learn because she wanted to find a way to have a mutual experience with me musically and so I assisted her on learning how to play bass and the two of us began writing songs together and so we started a rock group that we play in our free time. I also like to play a cover group, so we like to play classic songs from the 60s 70s to through today and that is a lot of fun. It's a great way to kind of decompress from work, you know, if you're stressed out from a long day at work. If you come home and play the guitar, play the piano -- seeing it just helps improve your mood and it keeps you happy and healthy.
Terry: Thank you so much for sharing this. As you watch, you will see that he is in different music events here at school and if you want to listen to him, come on over to MSAB. There's different concerts that he is involved with. Thank you so much, Justin, for talking with us today.
Justin: Thank you for having me.