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"Visible Music College" continued...

GIOA: Have you ever had to dismiss a student for behavior?

Ken Steorts: Sure, people make mistakes, and they have to eventually feel the consequences. Always tough because you want them to make the right decisions, but they sometimes don’t.

GIOA: How long was the idea for the school developing before you left Skillet?

Ken Steorts: The last year in 1999 I was really getting passionate about it, seeing the need on the road for this kind of educational option.

GIOA: How often do you get asked, "Are you going to rejoin Skillet?"

Ken Steorts: Never, especially by Skillet! Ha! So, I tried again to get back in this past year on guitar but John said I was too old. I'm just kidding, but never. (editor’s note: John Cooper is the only remaining original member of Skillet.)

GIOA: What is your salvation story?

Ken Steorts: I always wanted to be a Christian but found so many hypocrites against me with long hair and heavy music. My freshman year in college I wrestled with the academic and intellectual reasons for faith and almost quit searching. A person I met introduced me to the simple faith of who Jesus really is and gave me room to make a decision to give my whole life and heart to him. I did on a snowy day in Memphis.

GIOA: What bands inspired you growing up?

Ken Steorts: I was not a Christian. First disco, like the BeeGees, then Ozzy and Iron Maiden. Quite a journey but I was really into deep lyrics from the prog rock and metal bands and classically influenced metal.

GIOA: When and where did you learn to play the guitar?

Ken Steorts: I bought a guitar, strap, amp, pick, and cord for $40 from my drummer friend and snuck it out his window one night. I taught myself and listened to records. Then I took a few classical lessons and played hours daily.

GIOA: The school's website states that you saw "a large number of young Christian musicians with great character but little skill instruction or with great skill but little spiritual leadership." Were you lacking more musically or spiritually during your time with Skillet?

Ken Steorts: I'd say I was pretty rusty musically for a pro band, and as the tours went on I wore down spiritually but always came back to the church weekly, my pastor, my wife and regained strength. My own skill on guitar waned as we travelled, and I was more of a writer than a pure guitar hound by that time.

GIOA: How did you allow yourself to grow, and are you applying that growing technique into Visible Music College?

Ken Steorts: On the road, I grew through not being afraid of new circumstances: internationally, web technology, working as road manager with people and money. I still do this, working among a group of challenging and diverse people who make me grow daily by their high level of self-motivation and growing mindset.

GIOA: Do you have a desire to share your original music again through either a band or solo?

Ken Steorts: Yes, very much. I started a band called the Beep as soon as I quit Skillet and just have never done much more with it than local and a few tour dates. I write a lot, and once I finish my doctorate and get the next generation of the college stabilized, I want to play again more often. My writing is better all the time, but only I hear it right now. I’m wired for it!

GIOA: What do you desire for the future of Visible Music College?

Ken Steorts: A series of small campuses around the world bringing worship leadership, music training, and equipping to young people on every continent in groups of 132 students and 20-30 staff in each location serving the local churches, expanding the realm of Christian scholarship, musical maturity, outreach, and ministry to bands and the public, and maintain a "radical center" way of loving community and professionalism.

GIOA: Is there a particular scripture that drives you and your mission?

Ken Steorts: I guess that would be Colossians 1:15-23. That Christ is the visible image of the invisible God, and that we are with Christ in displaying the beauty and power and kingdom of the Creator.

For more information about Visible Music College, including admissions, curriculum, and location visit them online.


From: Volume 1 - Issue 2


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