Colorado Springs Conservatory
SPOTLIGHT SERIES · May 2021
David Musante – Colorado Springs Conservatory Alumnus + Lead Mentor · Guitar + Community Engagement Specialist
In its 26-year history, the Colorado Springs Conservatory has served as a “home away from home” to countless talented young people. It continues to be a “home” where students can be themselves without fear of judgment, a “home” that provides trusted adult guidance and experiences that build character and discipline, and a “home” with “siblings” and mentors who share their passions and pursuits.
Occasionally, we are honored when an accomplished alumnus returns to Colorado Springs Conservatory to mentor future generations. We have a deep and abiding respect for our faculty mentors and guest artists/lecturers who share with our students a gift for teaching and a deep passion for the arts.
This month, we’d like to shine our spotlight on David Musante – Conservatory Alumnus, Lead Mentor in Guitar, and Community Engagement Specialist for Colorado Springs Conservatory. David recently took some time to share his experiences as both a student and a teacher at Conservatory!
David, what instruments do you play, and when did you first become interested in music/performance?
I play guitar and electric bass. I dabble in a lot of other instruments like lap steel, piano, and drums.
What years did you attend Colorado Springs Conservatory?
I attended the Conservatory from ages 4-19.
Did you attend specifically for guitar? In which other areas/other instruments did you study at Conservatory.
When I first started at Conservatory, I was studying voice, theater, and dance. I did all of those things until I graduated but it wasn’t until I was 12 that I picked up a guitar and asked Linda if I could take lessons. She, of course, said yes!
Were you active in music at your middle/high school?
I’m from Colorado Springs and I attended Palmer High School. I wasn’t active in my high school music program because the Conservatory kept me so busy. The school was a home away from home, and I felt that anything I would get in a school music program was something that I could easily find at Conservatory.
What is your favorite part of teaching at Colorado Springs Conservatory?
My favorite part of teaching is when I get to be out in the community playing gigs with the students. It’s commonly known in the music world that you have to do a fair amount of what they call “learning on the bandstand,” and those are the lessons that truly stick with you for the rest of your life. I love to see students having those lightbulb moments where they’re connecting something they’ve learned in a lesson to playing music in the real world.
Why do you believe music education is important?
There are so many answers for this question, but one of my favorites is that I truly feel that arts and music education helps build resilience in students. Our students show up to CSC and have to take feedback while they’re being very vulnerable, and that whole process is so good for them.
Who was/were your biggest influences/mentors when pursuing an education/career in music?
There are so many amazing mentors that I owe so much to but I certainly wouldn’t be anywhere in my music career if it weren’t for the amazing mentorship and guidance of my guitar teacher Wayne Wilkinson. He gave me a gift that I can never really repay him for, so I try to give that to every student that I work with.
What are some of your favorite places and things to do in Colorado Springs?
I love hiking and getting outside in general. I also really love going to the arcade in Manitou. Maybe that doesn’t count because it’s technically not in the Springs, but it’s such a quirky and fun place to be!
Who are you listening to (music), right now? Any up-and-coming artists we should be following?
Right now I’m listening to a lot of mellow R&B and a few great artists are Linda Diaz, Omar Apollo, and The Marias.
Favorite quote or personal mantra?
My new teaching mantra is, “If you have good rhythm nothing else matters. If you don’t have good rhythm nothing else matters.”