Sheryl Crow Soaked Up The Sun With School Out
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Before her rock star success, Sheryl Crow was a music teacher at Kellison elementary school in Fenton, Missouri. A fellow teacher, Mary Jackson, described Crow at that time as a "hometown girl from a small community" who was "relatively quiet." The job was Crow's first after graduation with a degree in music composition, performance and education. "I really loved it, and I think I was a good teacher, but I was young and felt like if I was ever going to pursue the songwriting thing that I needed to do it well," she said in a 2006 interview. Crow taught at Kellison in 1984 and 1985.
Guided By Voices Robert Pollard Is Smarter Than A Fourth Grader
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Robert Pollard, lead singer of influential rock band Guided By Voices, threw in the rock musician towel early on, decided teaching fourth graders was a more secure vocation. But the summer months off also gave him more time to focus on rock and roll. In a 1996 interview with Magnet, Pollard said junior high students "were brutal" to teach physical science to. The singer added that he "didn't want to teach kids that were too young or too old." Near the end of his teaching days Pollard admitted coming to class drunk a few times after nights of recording into the wee hours.
Rock Star Knows A Lot About Stars In The Milky Way
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After majoring in physics in university and before he became a core member of British band Queen, Brian May was teaching math at Brixton's Stockwell Manor School, which at the time was located in an economically depressed area. "The biggest challenge was to get people to stay in their seats -- seriously!" May told the Daily Mirror in 1999. "The kids were bored more than anything else." Deciding to bring scissors into the class once was also a big mistake as "half an hour into the class they were all attacking each other with scissors" leaving "blood and paper everywhere." Mama!
Kris Kristofferson Almost A Teacher Before Opting For Music
If you've ever wondered why Kris Kristofferson is such a fine singer-songwriter, his background as a Rhodes Scholar might have helped. Two weeks before he was to begin teaching English literature at the prestigious West Point military academy in 1965, he decided Nashville was where he was meant to be. In a 2011 interview with TheBoot.com, the singer said the decision to choose music over a Monday morning classroom probably "did save my life." The decision was difficult in the early years but with an impressive musical and motion picture career to his credit, it totally paid off!
Wyclef Jean Accepts Teaching Spot At Brown University
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Musician Wyclef Jean of The Fugees accepted an offer to become a "visiting fellow" at Brown University in 2010 working in the university's African Studies department. "I look forward to my time at Brown as a period of learning and reflection," Jean said at the time in a Brown University press release, adding he was particularly interested in the institution's Haitian Initiative. "If I wasn't a musician, I would probably be a teacher," Jean -- who tried to run for office in Haiti but was ineligible -- said in a YouTube clip, adding he'd like to help kids who come from a one-parent household.
Todd Rundgren Wants To Work, Stay In Class All Day
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In 2010, veteran rocker and acclaimed producer Todd Rundgren joined the staff at Indiana University for a two-week residence. The course was basically the musician talking about his years in the music business as an Indiana University Wells Professor. Rundgren lapped up the university teaching experience, reportedly leading the University's marching band through a rendition of his signature song "Bang The Drum All Day". "I got completely immersed in it," Rundgren told USA Today. "I enjoyed the experience of spending time with intrinsically intelligent young people."
After A Teaching Stint, Sting Becomes A Police Man
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In 2006, Sting told Contact Music he wasn't a truly great teacher. "I was just in hell when I was teaching," he said. "I inspired the kids only by teaching them what I liked and what I was inspired by and enjoyed — that was basically soccer and poetry." The teaching stint lasted about two years before his rock stardom started. Sting revisited his school days somewhat when The Police created a video for the song "Don't Stand So Close To Me", using a classroom as the song's backdrop. Oddly enough a band called The Kickback released a song in 2010 entitled "Sting's Teacher Years".
Peaches Taught Children Before Becoming Electroclash Artist
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Before becoming known in music circles as Peaches, Merrill Nisker was content to be a children's music teacher in Toronto. The singer told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2001 that she "developed a program for 3- to 5-year-olds that was really spontaneous in the way that they could go crazy like they like to." The musician also said she was teaching five classes a day, going to different homes to teach kids which she did for 10 years and was very proud of. It was that spontaneity she taught her students that fuelled her creative drive for her career. But it's doubtful she wore that outfit while teaching!
Art Garfunkel Loved The Sounds Of Silence In Classrooms
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Before his career took off with Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel was into numbers. "I used to study mathematics, I have almost a Ph.D in mathematics," Garfunkel said in a 1997 interview. In a strange twist after Simon and Garfunkel's "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" became a hit, Garfunkel was still teaching mathematics at Connecticut's Litchfield Preparatory School. Although Garfunkel said the teaching job provided him a sense of normalcy, his future work with Simon and their bevy of iconic pop songs ensured teaching was on the back burner. Simon recorded a song titled "The Teacher" in 2000.
Gene Simmons Taught Elementary Children Sans Makeup
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KISS bassist/singer Gene Simmons dabbled in teaching Rock School a few years ago, traveling to Britain to put a band of school kids together to perform in concert. But in the '70s, Simmons taught elementary school children in the "Spanish Harlem" section of New York City. "I started teaching for the same reason as I started a band," Simmons told Rolling Stone. "I had a need to get up on the stage. Everyone needs the attention, but some more than others." The teaching stint at PS 75 lasted approximately six months before Simmons opted for a life linked with limos versus school buses.
Jack Black Was A Teacher Of Rock....In A Movie
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Although not falling into the same category as actual teachers, singer/actor Jack Black certainly turned millions of eyes in the direction of musical education with 2003's "School Of Rock". Black portrayed Dewey Finn, who decided to play the role of a music teacher at a rather conservative prep school. A sequel was reportedly in the cards in 2008 but thus far there's been no confirmation. The film — which featured a solid soundtrack — created a string of similar "rock schools" for children, with several musicians from various genres participating. Black deserves a gold star for his work.