Interview with Adam Cole
Adam has been featured in Reader’s Digest, Psychology Today, and NBC.com and serves as a regular contributor to periodicals such as UpWorthy, Transzion and Fupping. He engages with readers around the world on the subject of creativity and learning through his books and public speaking commitments. In addition to his numerous fiction titles, he has created many effective music education resources for teachers.
Adam is a co-director with Katherine Moore of the Grant Park Academy of the Arts
. He has worked as a jazz musician, music educator and choral director in public and private education for 20 years. He has taken his many experiences and reworked them into the worlds his dedicated readers have come to love.
Hi Adam! Could you please introduce your work with the Grant Park Academy of the Arts and what led to your being the Co-Director of the Academy?
I'm the co-director of the Grant Park Academy of the Arts. I'm also the piano instructor and the songwriting instructor. I had a school of music called the Adam Cole School of Music for a number of years before that, and then I introduced my work to a friend of mine and asked if she'd like to be my partner, because she was a voice teacher and she said, "I would love to be a voice teacher, have you considered expanding the school?". I had not. Once we got working together, things took off very fast and she turned out to be a terrific partner and we have a lot of fun now, and we're continuing to expand the work as co-directors.
What are the main courses and projects you've implemented during your time as Co-Director?
In addition to a lot of piano and voice instruction, we also have guitar instruction and string instruction. We've also been working hard with homeschool groups in the neighbourhood, especially for elementary and middle school children. We provide things like STEM workshops, Lego building, engineering, magic instruction, anything we can think of that would excite the neighbourhood and get them coming along to what we're doing.
What's the most rewarding aspect of your work with the Grant Park Academy of the Arts?
Of course, it's very rewarding being the co-director and watching the business grow and having something to do with that. But, I have to admit my favourite thing to do is teaching my students. Children are great, especially the children that have some kind of challenge in their life and teaching them how to play the piano or write songs helps them to overcome that. That's extremely exciting. My favourite thing to do which I don't get to do very much is teaching adults because adults are always under the impression that they're done and that they can't do it, there's nothing left for them. A lot of times when they come in and take lessons from me, they find out that things are just beginning and that they're actually quite capable of learning the piano or learning to write songs. It's a whole lot of fun.
How has writing for publications like Reader's Digest expanded your audience and grown your fan base?
We have a deeper mission at the Grant Park Academy of the Arts and that deeper mission is arts advocacy. We want people to understand that we're not teaching people how to be musicians. We're teaching them how to think like musicians, and musicians think like mathematicians, and they think like scientists and successful musicians are successful people. When I publish in periodicals like Reader's Digest or I'm featured in something like Psychology Today, it brings attention to our school, and it brings attention to our message, so that other schools in the area or even in the country or the world that are trying to present the same sort of thing, feel like they have an advocate and an ally.
What's next for your work with the Grant Park Academy of the Arts? What will be your main focus throughout 2019?
We're a very young school so we're just getting started, this is only our second year in operation as the Grant Park Academy of the Arts. We want to continue to grow. We want to continue to be able to offer more to our neighbourhood, perhaps to our city. As I said, we want to be able to continue to extend the reach of our advocacy message and explain the importance of the arts, not just in private instruction, but in general education as well. Thanks for letting us be a part of this.