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Rob Balducci / Press

“You have the degree and you read. How has this served you? When I was in college, one of my instructors said something I didn’t understand at the time, but I understand it now. He said, “I need you to learn everything that you can learn about music theory and technique, and once you learn everything, then you need to forget it.” I went to school, I studied, I know theory and how to read, but as a songwriter and a creative person that doesn’t mean anything, because when I sit down to write a song, I’m not thinking, I want it to be in this key and I need it to be in this rhythm. When I sit down to write, something inspires me, I hear it in my head and transfer it to the instrument. That’s the separation that a lot of people don’t understand.”