Writing Through Sound with Kevin Carnes

by Flavia (’14)

This past unit with Kevin Carnes was truly and melodiously enlightening. This guy has a stern persona; his words are as careful and precise as his drumming. It was his first time teaching a classroom of high school students and he was able to not only meet the teaching expectations but also to cross the line from being a teacher to a person speaking wisdom. He spoke to us about his understanding of music, specifically the drums, in a highly articulate manner by covering sound, pulse, rhythm, and silence to give us an understanding of the essential components. As a matter of fact, although his lesson was music-oriented, his words went beyond the meaning of sound to guide and to understand the form and style of life. In other words, he was teaching us his “religion,” his form of thinking, and expressing himself as a musician even off the stage. This was inexplicably valuable for me, because it reassured me of my ability to create different forms of art, such as singing/songwriting, rather than just writing, now that all art is interconnected in some way or another, just as much as it relates to our daily lives. Kevin made it clear, you can be an artist of any kind if you develop a deep understanding for the medium you choose and you apply constant practice. Evidently, this man spoke truth, because in the last few minutes of class, when he played for us as we wrote to the beat of his drum, I—along with others I’m sure—could hear the words that were told through each movement of his hand; soft taps, heavy banging, and of course the pause between each beat, the beauty of silence.

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