The Deeply rooted music school story
Co-founders Joel Zigman and Sam Goodman met as elementary school music teachers at neighboring schools in Arvada, Colorado. Together, they collaborated on curriculum and instruction for their schools’ music programs that challenged the rigid nature of traditional music education. Frustrated by the narrow performance-based, conservative climate of current music education, they were brought together by a shared vision of creating a new independent music school community. One where diversity is valued and all students can freely express themselves, have access to high-quality music technology and instruction, and learn through exploration. In 2020, Deeply Rooted Music School was founded in this vision.
Curiosity is a guiding principle of the Deeply Rooted Music School curriculum. Our approach is student-driven, based on play and imagination. Unique to the DRMS pedagogy is our emphasis on composition and analysis, encouraging students to ask the "how" and "why" questions in music. We teach students in a way that develops a lifelong appreciation of music through inquiry-based problem solving, building a student's creative voice and self-expression.
DRMS staff work closely together to plan an individualized curriculum for each student, including offering services for students with special needs and accommodations. DRMS values diversity, including recognizing the contributions of historically marginalized groups such as LGBTQ individuals and people of color. We seek to bring in music from a wide variety of genres, curriculum, and teachers that reflect the diversity of our community. All students need to see diverse role models of success that look like them to envision success for themselves.
Meet the founders
Joel Zigman is a musician and music educator based in Denver, CO. He is a professionally licensed K-12 music teacher in the state of Colorado and has taught in Jeffco Public Schools, Girls Rock Austin, the University of Texas at Austin Youth String Project, LREI, and Creative Action. He is an active solo performer, songwriter, contemporary classical composer, and multi-instrumentalist in the local Denver music scene whose music has been featured in OutFront, Westword, and 303 Magazine. Joel is a passionate advocate for human rights and social justice, most recently as the co-founding chair of the Colorado Transgender Educators Network he spearheaded a campaign to pass the “Right to be Out” rule through the Colorado Civil Rights Committee. He holds a Master's degree in Music and Human Learning from the University of Texas at Austin with a portfolio in “Arts and Cultural Management and Entrepreneurship” and undergraduate degrees in English and Music Composition from Rice University. He is trained in Orff, Kodaly, Little Kids Rock, and Responsive Classroom pedagogy.
Sam Goodman is a multi-instrumentalist and music educator in Denver, CO. He is a professionally licensed K-12 music teacher in the state of Colorado and has taught in Jeffco Public Schools, St. Vrain School District, and Boulder Valley School District.
Sam is a classically trained violinist and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Music Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Growing up in traditional, performance-focused music programs led Sam to strive to create something different and special for his students; a place where students can express their creativity through music. Sam mostly accomplishes this through the use of various technologies such as Garageband and Ableton Live. In 2016, Sam was the only Elementary level recipient of Ableton’s “Push Initiative” in the world, which granted him thousands of dollars of technology to use in his elementary music classroom. He believes the use of technology and creativity allows him to inspire a passion for music in his students.