Rasheda Jones is a music teacher at the Greenwood School of Music in Macon. She sat down with Macon Community News to answer a few questions with us.
Macon Community News (MCN): When did you first begin to learn music?
Rasheda Jones (RJ): My mother ALWAYS had old instruments just lying around in corners of my childhood home, so from the time I was able to crawl, I interacted with guitars, keyboards, harps, trumpets, and even an old didgeridoo!
MCN: When was your first formal musical training, then?
RJ: It wasn’t until 5th grade band that I formally learned [to play the] trumpet.
MCN: Who was your strongest influence when it came to your career path in music?
RJ: Believe it or not, science! When I was in high school, a businessman named John Campbell came out with this concept, called “The Mozart Effect,” which talked about music’s effect on the body.
MCN: How did John Campbell’s ideas lead you to become a music educator?
RJ: His idea led to several articles about music and the body being published in medical and scientific journals. I read an article about the effects of a particular Bach concerto on the growth of cancer cells in a petri dish, and then that led to my discovery of this therapeutic discipline called “music therapy.”
MCN: So, do you have an advanced degree in music therapy? Where did you go to school to get your degrees?
RJ: I have both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville.
MCN: Where do you teach?
RJ: I am part-time faculty at Georgia College and State University, and I also have clients with the Greenwood School of Music, Georgia Academy for the Blind, Serenity Hospice, Baldwin County Public School System, and private contracts.
MCN: Do you consider yourself a business owner?
RJ: In our discipline, we say “private practice,” but that is just professional jargon.
MCN: What is the best thing about your job?
RJ: I love EVERYTHING about what I do. It is hard to pick just one thing. I suppose it is pretty incredible to get paid to do things that I would do for free. I love making music, and I love working with people in order to help them reach a goal.
MCN:What is your musical goal for the future?
RJ: I want to support Greenwood School of Music as it grows.
MCN: Why is Greenwood School of Music special?
RJ: Greenwood School of Music is EXACTLY what Macon needs. Music is beneficial to mental, physical, and social health. The teachers and board members [at Greenwood School of Music] understand that, and the environment and professional services at Greenwood reflect that. So much of Macon’s musical history has been in stasis for the past twenty-plus years. Why not revive the musical culture here in the Heart of Georgia