Career Profile Combines Passion with Experience

MSU Music Education alum spins entrepreneurial career as a multi-faceted performer.

Rodney Page recalls diverse influences within the MSU College of Music and a style of mentoring that encouraged him to think outside the box; using music as a tool to help build connections with people.

Rodney Page didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur. But with the confidence, skills and global perspective he gained from the MSU College of Music, Page knew he could embark on a career that combined music education with a passion for performance.

Page graduated in 2000 with his bachelor’s degree in music education, taught for about nine years, and is now working a full-time career as a clinician, performer, teacher, and disc jockey. He engages diverse audiences through something he calls the “">Full Engagement Experience,” and promotes his multifaceted abilities through his website.

“I would describe myself as a music educator, music clinician, and an entertainer,” Page says. “The performance side of me is a new side. I am also looking at getting into doing some motivational speaking, which is the one thing that would be outside of music.”

Page has appeared in China, Europe, and Japan, as well as throughout the U.S. at events like the General Motors Black-History Gala, Showtime at the Apollo, and the Detroit Pistons ‘Bad Boy’ 25-year anniversary. He says he is surprised at how much performing he has done, since that wasn’t what he had in mind when he was at MSU studying music education.

“I came into MSU as a Music Education major, and always knew that’s what I wanted to be doing,” he says. “That’s one of the reasons my career is such a shock.”

In 2015, Page performed 135 times over the course of 39 straight weeks. His schedule was so packed that he had to turn away about 60 more gigs. A lot of his work consists of weddings or special events in which he is hired to work sound or video. After counting up the different places he has performed—including prisons, churches, proms, funerals, and birthday parties for 5-year-olds—he says he is surprised at the randomness and diversity.

“I would say that I have been blessed or have a talent to connect with a wide variety of people,” Page says. “For me, music is a tool.”

Page credits MSU’s Music Education program for encouraging him to ‘think outside the box’ and to keep his mind open to different styles and ways of playing his primary instrument: the violin. He says that MSU as a whole provided him with a global perspective, and exposed him to people of different ethnicities and backgrounds that he hadn’t encountered up until then.

“I don’t know where this is going to take me,” Page says. “I might go back to teach in the schools, but I at least have the skills to make it as a performer. It has been an amazing ride, and every time I open my violin case, every audience is different.”

Source: Running Start Spotlight, November 2015. See the full interview with Rodney Page and other highlights on students and alumni from the MSU College of Music.

“Full Engagement Experience”

Video courtesy Rodney Page

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