Everyone’s Very Own TMBG and Weird Al Yankovic!

Patrick SchaeferMusic EducationLeave a Comment

About the Author

Patrick Schaefer

Patrick is a voice and piano teacher. He has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Otterbein University. He is actively involved in Columbus' performing arts community, having done work with Short North Stage, Columbus Children's Theatre, CATCO, Imagine and Nina West!

It’s probably not actually that hard to believe, but I was an extremely dedicated fan of both They Might Be Giants and Weird Al Yankovic growing up. I memorized every lyric, went to their concerts, bought their discography, and even learned to sing/play “Birdhouse in Your Soul”, “Ana Ng”, “One More Minute”, “The Saga Begins” along with so many other brilliant songs.

But let’s face it, what 11 year old kid DOESN’T love Weird Al or They Might Be Giants?……No? Just me?! Okay…

So in going down the YouTube rabbit hole of videos, best of lists, and interviews, I’ve come to realize just how big of an impact they had on me as a young musician. I started taking piano lessons at age four and violin at ten, so I absolutely was a very musical kid. But what REALLY ignited my passion was finding the power of humor in music (through Weird Al and TMBG), and realizing I possessed the skills to replicate THAT music myself. Ultimately, it became a musical catalyst for me. I was inspired!

It’s very rewarding as an educator to know you’ve created that bridge for them…

So as a voice/piano teacher, I try to identify exactly what every student’s musical catalyst is. It is so extremely important to me that my students feel comfortable learning piano fundamentals, but also feel the freedom to explore songs they connect with, always encouraging an environment of having fun. There is such a drastic energy change in a kid’s demeanor when they go from Faber Piano Adventures to Taylor Swift’s “ME!”, and it’s very rewarding as an educator to know you’ve created that bridge for them.

While I may not require my students listen to Weird Al Yankovic and They Might Be Giants, we will take the time to learn the “Skeleton Rap” and “Enderman Rap” from Minecraft, the “Beyblade” theme song, “The Kitty Dance”, “Despacito”, “Happier”, “Viva La Vida” and “Something Just Like This”. These songs inspire my students, and therefore they have inspired me. I know that everyone has their very own TMBG and Weird Al Yankovic, and taking the time to discover what that is, is super important.

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