Spotlight on “Professor T’s School of Rock”

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Steve Tubin

After years of working as a musician and composer for clients all around the world, like Michael Bolton, Liza Minnelli and Bo Diddley, Steve Tubin has now focused on a more local, and much younger, clientele.

Steve, who runs Slash Music Studio out of his home in Tarrytown, received an unexpected call last year from Washington Irving Middle School to cover for a sick music teacher. Steve agreed, figuring it would be “a very interesting experience.” This experience was only the beginning of Steve’s involvement in the local school system.

Later that spring, a music teacher from Morse became injured and Steve’s services were once again called upon. This time, it entailed more than just filling in for two weeks. The school wanted him to produce the annual Spring Concert. Steve agreed, but under one condition: “Only if I can do it my way.”
For the next several months Steve worked with the students to produce a show which he described as “a show like they had never seen before.” Taking pre-recorded tracks done in his studio, Steve was able to use music that contained a wide variety of instruments and sounds. Wanting music the students could relate to, he incorporated elements of rock, hip-hop and salsa into the music. Steve also retained the traditional aspects of the concert by keeping the original songs the students had known, but adding his own twist, such as a rendition of the time-honored “London Bridge is Falling Down” being performed as a rap song. Upon hearing this music filled with horns and percussion instruments, the students got up and started dancing. “They’ve never been allowed to do that, they’ve always been told to stand…from my point of view I didn’t want to do that.” So dancing was an added part of the concert.
The Spring Concert was a huge success and solidified Steve’s desire to remain involved with the local youth. He did so by starting a class at the Tarrytown YMCA. In his class “Music Technology,” Steve teaches children to produce and record their own CDs. Steve also teaches piano, naturally, in his own non-traditional way. “ In every lesson that I teach kids [first] they learn piano and then they come to [the studio] and produce their own track and apply what they learned,” said Steve. He believes that the combination of the piano and technology keeps children interested and motivated to continue learning and playing.

Besides teaching piano and classes at the YMCA, Steve is already working on Washington Irving’s first musical. “School House Rock,” taking the name and songs from the popular television show. It promises to be just as big of a hit as last year’s Spring Concert.

Steve also works closely with other schools, offering a program called “Professor T’s Music Technology Experience.” Steve first performs a 45 minute show that demonstrates composing and arranging an assortment of music using a keyboard and computer. Afterwards, students gather to compose their own music and produce their very own CD. The program is described as an “exciting and educational musical experience — students get to create the music that they love, while having fun.”

Steve currently resides in Tarrytown with his wife and children. His wife Lene is also actively involved in the local community teaching crochet classes in Irvington. Along with his community efforts, Steve is currently handling the production of his son’s CD. Slash Music Studio and bookings for Professor T’s Music Technology Experience can be reached at 631-8182.

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