Bluegrass Standard interviews Prof. Adam Schlenker
Prof. Adam Schlenker remembers his first guitar lesson and then going home to sit on the back porch to practice, thinking, this is what I do. “And I’ve never looked back. I just love to play the guitar.”
Schlenker brings that complete devotion to his students every day at Denison as a teacher and director of the American Roots Program. A new interview with Bluegrass Standard reveals Schlenker’s West Virginia childhood and his path to college professor.
Schlenker says, “I think a lot of times people teach in reverse. They say here’s the end product. Go spend some time getting this down, and then I’ll show you another tune. And to me, that’s just backward. Music is a language, and you have to learn how to speak in that language and put the language together.”
The article goes on to note:
“Schlenker grew up in Beckley and, armed with a degree in audio production, moved to Columbus, Ohio. He was always playing the guitar, but a fascination with fiddle tunes captured his imagination.”
Schlenker is quoted: “It was the notion of improvising around the melody line with flat picking and the fiddle tunes—that’s where the light bulb just went on double bright, and it was like, this is it. This is what was missing.”