Kent Dutchersmith • The Good of Goshen

Kent Dutchersmith

Goshen Sings and Local Musician and Educator

Published July 2020

Goshen Sings started with people singing out on their porches at 5 o’clock. Soon it was just anybody posting different things. I was like, ‘Well, this is something as a musician and an educator that I should do.’

I have this hockey stick that I changed into a ‘stomp stick,’ which has, I don’t know, 15 to 20 instruments on it. The song I do on that is, ‘She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.’ So I did that and there was a lot of good feedback.

At the beginning of COVID, we had no idea how long quarantine was going to last. I did one the next day and said, ‘I’m going to do a new song and a new instrument a day until this thing is over.’ I’m a collector of instruments and songs. I didn’t realize how unique that was until I got into the 30s and people were like, ‘Wow, this is incredible.’

I made it up to 64. I had a list and could have kept on going, but it was kind of driving my family a little crazy. It was taking one to four hours a day to prepare a song. Sometimes it was on an instrument I haven’t played at all, or in a while. Having to learn an instrument and sometimes learning a song to go with it was time-consuming. But there were tons and tons of good, positive feedback.

Part of what kept me going is that there were people who were making it part of their daily ritual to look at it.

After 18 years in Goshen schools teaching elementary music, about a year ago I made the transition. I’m teaching with the ECoSistema music program. I also teach private-based lessons. All of my teaching since COVID has been on Zoom. I’ve been teaching violin, viola, cello, and strong bass via Zoom, probably close to 200 lessons since March.

I’ve sort of gotten to know kids on a more personal level, one on one. I think for a lot of them, it’s been really good during COVID because they’ve had regular contact with an adult while they’re sort of trapped at home. It gives them one more thing for them to do at home during COVID. That’s been very special, to be able to connect with kids that way.

Writing, editing, and photography by Scott Weisser and Neil King

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