DIME Denver caught up with one of our newest students Jeremiah Miller, who is studying the Commercial Music Performance (Guitar) degree program.
What is your background in music and education?
Music’s been around me since before I can remember. Everyone in my immediate family had some amount of musical talent. I remember family gatherings where we would sit in in my grandparents’ living room, play guitars and sing everything from folk tunes to worship songs together. It was only a matter of time before I really embraced music on my own. Formal training for me started with private piano lessons when I was six years old, from then on I taught myself drums, bass, and guitar, and I learned how to sing. My high-school career was completely focused on music; I did jazz band, marching band, choir, did some battles of the bands and talents shows, but I really found my niche on the worship team for my youth group, and I’ve been playing almost every other day at my church ever since. Once I was out of high school I studied worship arts at Colorado Christian University for a year, and formed a band with my best friends from the youth group and we wrote and gigged for a couple years together.
How did you find out about DIME Denver?
I saw a few ads on facebook, put in my contact info and started talking with James.
What made you choose to apply to study with us?
The idea of a contemporary music school was already something I had looked into and was very interested in, when I saw DIME was here in Denver it was a no-brainer!
What are your short and/or longer term academic and career goals?
Short-term, I want to start performing again and putting out quality music on a regular basis. I still do lots of writing with my friends from church and I’d love to start sharing it with people. My ultimate long-term goal is to share God’s love with people who wouldn’t usually hear it through the music they listen to. If I can write and tour with a hard-rock/metal band and see lives changed simultaneously, my biggest dreams will have been fulfilled.
What do you find most rewarding about your studies so far?
I love how much I’m being pushed. Every day I’m spending hours with a guitar – I have to if I’m keeping up with my studies. I really feel like I’m growing and getting better, and a lot faster than I did when I was teaching myself. It’s great to see results after such a short time.
What do you find most challenging about your studies and how do you plan to overcome that challenge?
My biggest challenge right now is balancing my studies with the rest of my life. The great thing about DIME is so much of what I’m learning ties directly into what I do outside of school, so that’s helped out a lot, but even still I’m having to sacrifice other things so I don’t overwhelm myself. DIME is a great school and it’s not for just anyone – this is a place for dedicated people.
Who are some of your music / industry / entrepreneurial influences?
My earliest influences are from a lot of classic rock bands: Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey, Boston… I remember my uncle teaching me “Sweet Home Alabama” when I had only been playing guitar a couple months. Other big influences came from all over the place. I’m a big fan of cinematic music. Hans Zimmer, John Williams, even new age stuff like Yanni, I love a huge symphony orchestra. Being a church musician I play a lot of the likes of Hillsong and Bethel Music, and that’s definitely made it’s way into my everyday playing. More recently I’ve been influenced by a lot of metal players. John Petrucci is a massive influence, as well as Paul Gilbert and Steve Vai. I was directly influenced by Andrew Stanton of Disciple as one of his students last year. Chugging riffs like those of Seventh Day Slumber, Spoken, and Decyfer Down have become predominant in a lot of what I write nowadays.