Interviews and media coverage

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Fiefer, J. (producer). (2017, January 9). Pessimists Archive, Episode 3: Recorded Music. Retrieved from

Rich, M. (2016, November 18). Tools to Help Japanese Schoolchildren Find Balance: Unicycles. The New York Times. Retrieved from

Evensen, D. (2013). String Theorist. Illinois Alumni Magazine, p. 13.

Rehayem, M. (2012, November 5). Folk and Roots a musical medley. The Daily Illini, p. 1. Champaign, IL. Retrieved from

Sullivan, B. (2012, November 5). Join Forces with the Homebrew Ukulele Union. Smile Politely. Retrieved from:

Wywialowski, A (2012, August 28). Future music teachers “strum” the night away at ukulele workshop. The Daily Eastern News, p. 3. Charleston, IL. Retrieved from:

Moore, A. (2012, September 17). 2007 Was the Best Year a Rapper has Ever Had. Retrieved from

Rhodes, D. (2012). Making music for the fun of it. Postmarks, (spring), 5. Retrieved from

Rhodes, D. (2012). Let’s Play. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 2012-13 Campus Guide, p. 38-39.

Quansah, W. (2012, February 29). Music Education Encourages New Dimensions, Hippies? College Magazine. Retrieved from

Rhodes, D. (2011, November 3). “Ukulele class” designed to instill lifelong love of music. Inside Illinois, p. 6. Urbana, IL. Retrieved from:

University of Illinois [illinois1867]. (2011, October 25). Designing Musical Experiences – A Homebrewed Process. Retrieved from

Kim, S. (2011, October 31). Ukulele gives music education class new dimension. The Daily Illini, p. 1. Urbana, IL. Retrieved from:

O’Daniell, R. K. (2010, November 5). Uke it or lose it. The News-Gazette, p. B2. Urbana, IL.

Garces, S. (2008, November 4). Campaign songs could hold significant meaning. WPGU US presidential election coverage. Champaign, IL: WPGU. Retrieved from

Student Projects

There’s enough media around our Homebrew Ukulele Union that we have our own blog. Head over there for more of that.

I strongly believe that students should have a chance to make their work public, and regularly do so in the classes I lead. Here’s a few samples:

John Dewey’s “My Pedagogic Creed” audiobook: A group of students and I co-created an audio version of Dewey’s classic essay.

Old Verses, New Voices: A more recent project, presenting recordings of poems from the public domain, as described in my recent column in General Music Today, “Recording Students to Bring Poetry Alive” (January 2011 issue).

Interesting Musical Moments Illustrated: A Visualization Project For this project, students created spectrogram visualizations and then annotated them. Viewed with Acrobat Reader, you can click each image and hear the music, too!

Homebrew Ukulele Union: Here’s two videos from the group in my course “Designing Musical Experiences”, where we build our own ukuleles, create our own charts, and share leadership responsibilities. You can see a run-through of “In C” and some clips from a singalong event at a local pub.

Blue Collar Bassist
I made a living from 1991-1998 as a bassist, playing 2-4 nights a week. Mostly it was blue collar work in blues bars, dive bars, and with tiny community orchestras, but I also worked as a bassist for the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and got to play with some amazing jazz musicians. Here’s a few samples for example from throughout the years.

Tao Z. Jonz
If I actually had a mass media moment, it was likely playing bass with Tao Z. Jonz, a swamp-rock group in Tallahassee. Our tune, “Fred, the Chicken Queen” was spun a few times on the Dr. Demento show, and also included on Dr. Demento’s Basement Tapes, Volume 5. Here’s a taste:

Chris Shahin Band

I really enjoyed playing with guitarist Chris Shahin and drummer Sameer Gupta. Here’s a solo from Chris’ tune “Oil” from an unreleased demo:

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