Multi-Instrumentalist Senior’s Musical Journey

Calm and focused, he sat studying the drum beat trying to replicate it by ear. First try, “nope, that was bad.” Second try, “no, that’s not it.” Third try, “yeah, there it is.”  

I stood completely amazed as he turned around and said, “Yeah, that was pretty close I guess.” The song he was playing was the iconic introduction to Good Times Bad Times by Led Zeppelin and has a pretty complicated drum track to say the least, but he was able to pick it up almost instantly.

The “he” that I’m writing about it none other than Kenny Woods, band kid, skater, and an all around cool guy. Though you might recognize Woods, a senior, from playing the drums in Leyden’s concert, jazz, and marching bands, Kenny also is musically gifted with the guitar and bass guitar. In fact, he started playing guitar before he started playing the drums, the instrument that he has honed his skills on in school for the past three years. 

“Everyone in my family is really big into music but my dad and grandfather were really into music, and then my dad used to teach me music when I was really young,” Thought Woods. “Until I got old enough to come up here and sneak a guitar down. One of twenty or twenty-two that are up here.” Kenny said as we stood in a cluttered attic full of instruments, amplifiers, and the largest collection of CDs I have ever seen. “There’s all types of music. There’s metal to smoother stuff like jazz, even movie soundtracks like Star Wars. No country though, we don’t like country music here.” 

Back in his room, Kenny sat down at his electronic drum set and began to warm up. Surrounded by old baseball trophies, sports memorabilia, and posters of rock bands, he was in his zone. Playing intricate rhythms while his drum sticks playfully danced around the kit in perfect time. Then he picked up a guitar, an old Fender Stratocaster that belonged to his grandfather and then his father. Kenny began to play with ease talking about his future and how music will stay with him during his life after high school.

Kenny has his sights set on earning a dual degree in mechanical and electrical engineering. He had this to say on playing music in college, `“Well I’m planning on going to North Central and they have a marching band there, and a normal band too, so I plan on doing those there if I’m able to.”

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