Everyone knows that college is a time for learning and developing skills. For those in Humber’s music programs, it’s also a time for developing your network of future collaborators. Grads Klaus Anselm (2008), Christian Overton (2005), and Mike Wark (2007) are proof of this. Since leaving Humber, they’ve worn a number of creative hats, but their most recent project is one of public service. The three have joined forces to form Musicians Helping Music Teachers, a project that provides interactive, engaging content and live streams to elementary and secondary school music teachers for use in the classroom.
The next Musicians Helping event is a virtual field trip to Ripley’s Aquarium hosted by Garvia Bailey and featuring a new commissioned composition by renowned trombonist and Humber Music professor Kelsley Grant. We caught up with Klaus, Christian and Mike over email to hear more about Musicians Helping and their time at Humber.
Can you tell us about your favourite project you’ve worked on or a project that you are particularly proud of? Please include links and/or images, if possible.
Klaus: My favorite project lately has been the Musicians Helping Music Teachers initiative. During a time when performing and brass playing specifically are reduced, it is great to have an outlet for my passion for performing and educating.
Christian: My favourite project has been our Musicians Helping Music Teachers Initiative in which we help music teachers with personalized services and create exciting educational live stream events for schools. It’s very rewarding to help inspire the next generation of musicians and music appreciators.
Mike: Passing the torch and offering inspiration to students and support to teachers through Musicians Helping Music Teachers is extremely important to me, and I’m glad we are able to work as a team to do that!
How did your time at Humber help you get where you are now?
Klaus: Humber was a vital means to provide foundational music experiences and network opportunities not only with top music educators but also with peers that I am still in touch with since leaving Humber. Looking back 13 years now, it is amazing to see how everyone has transformed and found their own footing in the music industry. While our paths may have gone different directions, the starting point was Humber College.
Christian: Many of the peers that I met through the Humber program are now my fellow musicians in the Toronto music scene. The connections I made there have helped me through my entire career.
Mike: Humber gave me the practical tools and experience that allowed me to navigate forging a career as a freelancer. Also, being a part of a large student body of diverse musical interests allowed me to discover and realize a variety of musical influences and take inspiration from fellow peers.
Give us a tip (or tips) for students and recent grads hoping to follow in your footsteps.
Klaus: Have a vision, get involved, and be familiar with the tools needed to be a modern member of the music industry. Also, be aware of the support your peers can offer. Don’t be shy to reach out to your student colleagues, professors, or others in the music industry. We are all here to support each other. One last thing, answer emails right away and be punctual.
Christian: My biggest tip would be to create your own opportunities when things aren’t as busy as you’d like them to be. Learn new skills and be as versatile as you can.
Mike: Two things come to mind: 1.) Think long-term and think big picture, then work back from that to figure out what you should be practicing and learning about today and tomorrow to meet your goals. 2.) Get to know as many people in the music scene as possible and learn from everyone.