Exploring the Complexity of Music

Meet Performing Arts Teacher David Yackley

David played for liturgies at Eastside Catholic for many years before joining the staff in fall 2015 to teach guitar, songwriting and music theory. A native of Ohio, he earned his master’s degree in jazz and contemporary media from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York and his Bachelor of Music in piano performance from Capital University Conservatory in Columbus. David is a published composer whose orchestral arrangements have been performed by the Houston, Atlanta and Cleveland orchestras. He is also the director of music at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church and lives in Redmond with his wife and three children.

Q: How would you describe your teaching philosophy?
I am a big proponent of learning by experience; I want students to be free to try new things without judgment (especially their own!). Sometimes the best learning comes from failure: how do you pick yourself up off the ground and what happens next?

Q: What have you enjoyed most with having students back on campus?
Hearing student's laughter in person is music to my ears!

Q: What made you decide to become a music teacher?
I have two older siblings who are legendary music teachers, and I try to honor them and the great teachers I had in high school and college through my teaching. I also find the subject of music endlessly fascinating – every layer that is peeled back reveals more complex layers.

Q: Do you have a specific musical subject that is your favorite to teach?
I enjoy it all, but I guess I find AP Music Theory most exciting because I get to hang out with the true music nerds.

I want students to be free to try new things without judgment (especially their own!).

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
Not surprisingly, I write and produce music. I also enjoy playing and watching basketball (Roll Cru!). And my wife and I are parents to three kids and grandparents to two, so they keep us busy.

Q: What do you find most rewarding about teaching?
Watching students grow and learn to own their education and their lives is incredibly rewarding.

Q: What would be your "trapped on a desert island" book or movie?
I love the book “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and I think the movie really does the book justice (plus it has a great Elmer Bernstein score!).

Q: What would students be surprised to find out about you?
I once wrote a piece of music that was installed on over a billion computers! But hardly anyone ever runs across it, so it's not like I'm rich or famous or anything. 😊

If you have questions for David, you can reach him at dyackley@eastsidecatholic.org.

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