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BMP Teaching Artist Spotlight | Scott Ziegler

Updated: Jan 14

At the Boston Music Project, we are proud to have an exceptional team with a diverse background of teaching and performance experiences. When our Teaching Artists are not teaching music lessons, they are pursuing their own professional careers as active performers, composers, music producers, dancers, and more!


This year we are excited to welcome Scott Ziegler to the BMP Team as a Digital Music Teaching Artist!

Scott Ziegler is a producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and educator. Scott grew up in

a small town north of Boston before moving to Philadelphia in 2009 to pursue a degree in jazz studies at the University of the Arts. Scott is the bass player and music director of the band ILL DOOTS. In addition to a large recording output, the band has toured the US performing and teaching songwriting workshops, as well as composing and performing in theater. In addition to his continued work with ILL DOOTS, Scott produces music for other artists and mediums such as film, podcasts, and interactive exhibits. Scott taught songwriting/production at the Village of Arts and Humanities in North Philadelphia from 2015 until relocating to the Boston area in the fall of 2019 where he now runs the Music Clubhouse program at the Lawrence YMCA. Most recently Scott has joined the team at Boston Music Project teaching music in collaboration with social studies and english language arts at the McKinley South End Academy.


BMP's Digital Music Composition program at the McKinley South End Academy, one of Boston Public Schools’ four McKinley schools located in Boston’s South End and Fenway neighborhoods, serves students in grades 9-12. Students in our D.M.C. programs develop their skills in all areas of music production, including electronic music composition and theory and digital audio production. As students progress through the program they learn more about sound engineering, recording industry laws and ethics, and streaming/promoting original music.


We asked Scott to share a bit more about his musical background and his life in and around music.


Who were some of your musical inspirations growing up?

“My primary inspiration throughout all of my various phases of musical development has been the producer J Dilla from Detroit. As a young musician and producer I studied his style and the ways that he reinvented rhythm. As I've grown older I've spent less energy emulating his sound and more energy emulating his approach to music; learning conventions as a pathway to subverting them, playing with a listener's expectations and perceptions, and creating from a place of belligerent freedom. Some of my other primary influences are Prince, Donny Hathaway, and James Jamerson.”


What excites you most as a teacher and as a performer?

“I think what excites me most as a performer and as a teacher is a playful awareness that despite all of the complexities of both performing and teaching music, ultimately it is a game of tension and release. Building the tension and pulling off the release is what creates the most gratifying moments, [in both] teaching and performing. Whether it is working on a difficult concept and the frustration that builds, until the moment it finally clicks. Or whether it is a long passage of syncopation that finally lands on a downbeat.”


Scott performing with his band ILL DOOTS for a virtual album release show.


What are you most excited about becoming a teaching artist at BMP?

“I think the opportunity to use music as a tool to help young people learn and achieve other things is really exciting. I am thrilled to be able to interact with a wide range of social studies and ELA material at McKinley South End Academy, and to be able to find ways to use music as a tool to make those concepts more accessible and exciting to students. I also love having an opportunity to learn about music from young people. So often the roles of teacher and student are too rigid to allow for information to flow both ways, my favorite request of my students is to "show me something I've never heard before," and to make space for their interests to play a role in my musical development as well.”


Outside of music, what are some things you do that bring you joy?

“Believe it or not this is the hardest question to answer. Outside of music I enjoy spending time with my wife and two dogs. I enjoy watching stand up comedy, spending time in nature, and cooking meals for people I love.”

 

To learn more about Scott, we invite you to read his full biography on our Teaching Artists page.


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