Megan Adcock joined the USC Popular Music Program as a drummer for the 2015-16 school year and immediately applied to the Thornton Community Engagement Programs (TCEP). Since then, teaching has become an integral part of Megan’s identity as a musician. Within her first year with the program she was mentoring for Meet the Instruments, coaching the Manual Arts High School drumline, providing administrative support, and completing training for coordinating the Private Lessons program. Now in her second year with TCEP, Megan maintains all of her previous duties while coordinating the JazzReach Private Lessons program. Megan previously taught private lessons to drummers of all ages at her community college and at the Musician’s Institute.
Teaching with TCEP has been an entirely new experience for Megan, who commented, “These kids have so many struggles outside of school, it’s amazing that they still perform so well!” She fondly remembers one trip to Lanterman High School, which serves moderate to severely disabled high school students. During a Meet the Instruments class, which introduces students to different instruments, Megan had an especially poignant experience. While presenting the snare drum to the class, a student named Hazel decided it was time to join in. “She grabbed her guitar and started playing along with me in the class! Before we knew it, all the other kids wanted to play with us, too. It was a really cool moment.” Before long, Megan found herself within a circle of students who had begun participating in the makeshift jam session. Not only did Hazel exhibit confidence and musical ability, which impressed her peers, she showed great leadership skills by inspiring her classmates to join in the music making. Megan has taught extensively around California but she had never experienced anything like that before.