At MnSOM, we pride ourselves on hiring some truly talented teachers who are dedicated to passing their skills on to the next generation of musicians. Sergej Root is the embodiment of this philosophy. Drawing on years of industry experience as an adouble-platinum music producer in Germany, Sergej helps his students see beyond the scales of music practice and build a sound entirely their own.
“My dad loved the Beatles,” Sergej recalls of his childhood. “I kept singing their tunes, and, by age 12, I picked up playing the guitar — it’s the usual story of a young musician,” he says with a laugh. From these humble beginnings, Sergej built a career, earning his bachelor’s in music and winning awards for his sound engineering. So, how did he find his way to our school?
“The music industry is a 24/7 job,” Sergej explains. “It got to be too much, so my wife and I decided to travel.” Eventually, the two moved to India, where Sergej’s wife had been hired to teach at a German immersion school. “We sold everything and made the trip. It exposed me to a whole new world of music.” But the Roots’ globetrotting wasn’t over yet: Within a year of being in SouthAsia, they received a job offer from another immersion school right here in the Twin Cities! Supporting his wife’s career, Sergej once again made the move to a new country and, in the process, found our music school.
“I love sharing my knowledge — showing kids there are a lot of layers to being a good musician,” Sergej says. He goes on to explain, “You can learn Jimi Hendrix’ssongs note for note and still not sound like him. The next level of playing music is learning how to create your own sound.” Beyond sharing his love of music, Sergej is dedicated to giving students better instruction than he himself received.
“I actually took a year off playing the guitar,” he reflects. “In the end, I realized it wasn’t the instrument I had a problem with; it was my teacher.” Sergej explains that his lessons had been unstructured and impersonal, adding, “That’s why I love this school. Lessons are personalized while sharing a single vision. I wish I had that kind of guidance!”