Mike Simpson is a mentor specializing on French horn, and is working with students at Tyee High School in the Highline School District. Mike is a retired music teacher, and besides being proficient on French horn he’s well versed on all brass instruments and and plays many other instruments as well.
Mike began his journey as a musician by learning to play the violin, but soon switched to the French horn. “I decided I wanted to play the scrolliest, weirdest looking plumber’s nightmare I could find. As a 6th grade boy, the looks of the horn spoke to me first. Later, I fell in love with the sound!”
In becoming a music teacher, Mike learned to play a wide variety of instruments. “I’ve learned to play to a degree all woodwinds, brass, percussion, strings, guitar, ukulele, piano, and even harmonica.” As a long time educator, Mike believes in the importance of passing along musical traditions. “Teaching music provides the opportunity for sharing passion and excitement about a piece of music with other people.”
And his musical abilities aren’t limited to instrumental music. One of his most memorable experiences was singing a solo on Jesus Christ Superstar with his school band and choir at the Hawaiian Music Festival in Honolulu.
Mike realizes the importance of learning music when you’re young, noting that music “puts you in touch with your brain and your soul.”
Music plays an important role in Mike’s everyday life. “Music keeps me balanced. I treat my morning warm-ups as my meditation, and my evening practice as my prayers. If I have difficulty falling asleep at night, my wife will say to me, ‘You need to go play your horn some more.’ It always makes me feel better.”