Newly hired professor Emmett Goods is hardly seen around campus. Most of the time he’s working or teaching in the basement of the townhouses–the music section to be specific.
Its location is almost nowhere to be found to most students on the Springfield College campus. However, it is where the music students take their talents to practice the instruments they play or rehearse with a group they’re in. For Goods, he’s teaching them to become musicians or teachers – it’s what he did when he was growing up, too.
After Professor Christopher Haynes ultimately decided to take a full year off and take a sabbatical, the music department was in desperate need to find another teacher.
“I was at a gig. We finished sound-check so we were sitting around at a friend of mine’s and I was scrolling through looking for something to do in the upcoming school year – trying to make some decisions on what do. I saw this position and it looked like a lot of fun,” Professor Emmett Goods said. “I put in the position, luckily I got it and so far have had a great experience.”
Goods, a graduate from the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut, always intended to teach rather than be a performing artist. Luckily, he knew the local area fairly well and jumped on the opportunity to serve as an educator. Having a smaller school such as Springfield College gives Goods more of a chance to help his students.
“When I got to college, my professors meant so much to me and I really enjoyed college. It’s been a defining moment in my life,” Goods said. “I like the atmosphere and environment of being on a college campus, the possibilities, and I love the students. I just love teaching.”
Goods teaches the 20th century American popular music, music appreciation, jazz band and the chamber ensemble on the Springfield campus.
Although he is currently a professor, Goods is also a student at West Virginia University working on his Doctorate degree. After bouncing around as a freelance musician, he knew the route of teaching would be the best for him.
“It’s a hard road to make a living as a musician just playing. You really live hand-to-mouth. You have to plan for things, and I know what it feels like to be living off $14 – 20,000 dollars a year. That’s not a lot of money in the United States. You work so hard for it, too,” Goods said. “It was a struggle and in the end you realize that it sucks, but doing something that I don’t love doesn’t appeal to me.”
A passion for music was always in his blood. Goods grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with several family members that were already talented musicians. His grandfather and older brother were both influences on him and introduced him into the music life at the age of seven. From there he learned how to play over five instruments including different types of trombones, euphonium, tuba, trumpet, piano, and drums.
Through playing so many instruments and putting in so many hours of work, he met some very famous people. Goods had the chance to work with Jennifer Holliday, who was a Broadway star for numerous years. Now, he works with a Latin Jazz group that he runs with a friend from college and is a member of the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra.
It’s easy to tell that Goods is an extremely busy person. From performing, teaching students how to perform, to even educating them about the culture of music, Goods manages to stay on top of his work towards finishing his degree. Most importantly, though, Goods goes home to his family every single night.