Last Thursday afternoon I had the pleasure of sitting down with singer/songwriter and Discovery Programs teacher Nick Moran to talk about his new album, sources of inspiration, and his philosophy on music education.
The only musical member of his family, Nick grew up on Long Island listening to the classic oldies that his parents played around the house, but had no intention of becoming a professional musician. It was a series of piano-playing friends over the years who stirred him to take up first piano, then voice and guitar.
Nick is largely influenced in his craft by the golden “old soul” musical styles of the 60s and 70s. When shaping his sound and orchestration, he returns again and again to the likes of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, and Aretha Franklin. Lyrically, he descends from rock/folk heavy-hitters like Paul Simon, James Taylor, Bob Dylan, and, of course, the Beatles. His new album, “Easier Time” (released May 2017 on iTunes and Spotify), is a beautiful synthesis of all of these masterful muses.
After spending the last five years teaching music all over the city, Nick has learned a great deal about the way to instill music appreciation in children. In his classes, Nick focuses less on technical training and more on simply getting kids excited about music. He says that the important thing is to “share your joy for music before you start diving into muscle memory, technique, and scales.”
The key, according to Nick, to developing a child’s sense of musical awareness and wonder is leading by example with one’s own enthusiasm. “What you fuel at home is obviously going to influence what your child will do later on,” he says. Each of Nick’s Rocker classes at Discovery is centered on a particular group or artist, and he leads interactive activities that allow his students to explore and celebrate their unique contributions to the world of music. Recent featured legends have been the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, and the Beach Boys.
Some of the most meaningful teaching moments for Nick are spent watching as a child beholds their parent or caregiver’s elation regarding a particular song. “So much of what you learn at that age is through observation. They’re going to absorb the excitement that parents are showing.”
Register your youngster for Discovery Rockers today, online or over the phone! Spots are still available for both the Summer and Fall sessions.
See Nick perform live as an artist-in-residence at Rockwood Music Hall on the Lower East Side, August 13th, 20th, and 27th.
Check out Nick’s website by following the link below, and make sure to listen to his new album, “Easier Time,” any way that you can!