“Music speaks to the soul.”
Uncle Devin specializes in Family Funk. He’s a member of the 1 Tribe Collective whose album, All One Tribe, was nominated for a GRAMMY. He founded The Uncle Devin Show, an interactive musical experience for children that uses percussion to cultivate their minds.
What led you to become a teaching artist?
1. An Elementary School Assembly. Teaching Artists came to my school, and blew me away. I was so impressed and loved how they used music to make us laugh and learn. Their performance inspired me to use music to uplift, educate, and have fun. I wanted to have that same impact on children.
2. My Nephews and Nieces. I was highly active in the lives of my sister’s children and always used music to entertain them. They gave me ideas, and we shared fantastic experiences with percussion instruments. As they got older, I began to record the songs and games we created. They shared them with their friends, who wanted more.
3. Learning of the Children’s Music Industry. In 2012, I started attending children’s music conferences. I learned so much about the field from seasoned arts educators, and discovered this amazing community.
4. Lack of Diversity in the Teaching Artist Field. I realized that most children’s music focused on folk, pop, and rock. I did not see much representation by people of color, so I dedicated myself to becoming a Teaching Artist and encouraging other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to consider this field as a career.
Best summarized through the words of Franz Fanon: To educate the masses of people is to try, relentlessly and passionately, to teach them that everything depends on them.
My goal is not to teach students what to think but how to think objectively. Music is one of the best tools to inspire critical thinking.