Silence Takes a Backseat at Puster Elementary Library
“Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, great libraries build communities.” – R. David Lankes. Allison Smithwick, Puster Elementary Instructional Media Specialist, said that they have chosen to host ‘Live Music in the Library’ events because she is committed to community building. Goals of these once monthly events are to allow students to practice audience manners, promote music appreciation and bring families into the school.
On February 2, the guest performer was Woody Berner, who is a Puster parent. Berner entertained the attendees, who were instructed to “sit on your pockets”, with 20 minutes of live drum music. His set included two jazz songs, Woodstock (Joni Mitchell) and Attaboy (Goat Rope Session).
Berner began playing drums when he was a third grader while living in Culpepper, Virginia. He has played in many bands including the One O’Clock Lab Band at the University of North Texas (UNT). He graduated from UNT with a Bachelors of Music in Jazz Performance. He also played at the Pyramid Room in the Fairmont Hotel in Dallas in the rhythm section during an R&B series which included The Drifters, The Platters and The Supremes.
He explains why his favorite type of music is jazz, “Everyone brings their personal level of competency… (musicians) must be flexible, which takes more proficiency. (Jazz) is always fresh and fun.” His favorite drummers are Roy Haynes and Vinnie Colaiuta.
His advice to readers who would like to become drummers, “Practice, practice and more practice with a metronome. Gets your technique right as soon as you can, relearning technique is miserable.”