STUDENT STORIES – Keith Buckelew (Vocals)


DIME Denver caught up with one of our newest students Keith Buckelew, who is studying the Commercial Music Performance (Vocals) degree program.

What is your background in music and education?

I started playing drums when I was 10 so I could join the middle school band. I was in band all through middle school and high school. Sophomore year I picked up the guitar. I never really took it seriously until I started making music with my guitar player and best friend Garrett. He and I formed Dust Of The Decade in September of 2016. Since starting at DIME Denver, we’ve found our three new members and they’ve really taken us to a new level. Along the way, another student and I started a project called Dusty Rose. Both bands are going very strong and are writing lots of new music.

How did you find out about DIME Denver?

This is a long and pretty entertaining story. So one day in band class, my teacher approached me and asked me if I wanted to come to this college meeting to see if I was interested. At the time, I had no plans to go to college and I didn’t care at all. So when my teacher asked, I completely forgot. The day of the meeting, I was coming back from lunch and I walked to the choir room where I normally eat, stuffing food into my face, and James is standing up just wailing on guitar. I was instantly interested and I took a seat. James and Kit went into more detail on what the school was all about, and invited me to the open house. It wasn’t too long after that when I booked my audition. I was sold on DIME before the meeting was over.

What made you choose to apply to study with us?

Choosing to study with DIME was a very difficult process. Not because I didn’t want to (I did, I reeeaaaalllyyy did), but because I had no idea how I was going to afford it. There was a lot of going back and forth, saying yes and no. Luckily, James is very good at his job and did everything in his power to get me in. I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity that’s been given to me by DIME, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the program.

What are your short and/or longer term academic and career goals?

Short term, I’ll have my BA in Vocals and I want my music to be known locally. Long term, I want to be a touring musician, getting paid to do what I love most. Connecting with as many people and touching as many hearts as I can. Which is why I do music. I never cared to have my name in lights or have fancy cars. I just want to reach people, and help them like music helped me. Music is all I really know, and it’s all I’ve ever really wanted to do.

What do you find most rewarding about your studies so far?

So far, my studies have been helpful with my music inside and outside of the classroom. Relearning music theory has opened me up to a whole new world of musical possibilities and I’m excited to work more in depth with new techniques. My teachers have been incredibly helpful and the small class environment allows for a more productive class period. Leaving many opportunities for one on one time with teachers.

What do you find most challenging about your studies and how do you plan to overcome that challenge?

The biggest struggle that I’ve had with my studies has been not having a laptop for the whole year. Luckily I just got a new one, so this semester has been much easier. I’m hoping to run into different challenges through. I feel like if I’m not being challenged, I’m not progressing or learning anything. Challenge is important because its almost like a test, where you can really show what you’re made of.

Who are some of your music / industry / entrepreneurial influences?

I grew up around a lot of artists like Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, and The Beatles. While at the same time I was introduced to the Rock/Metal scene at a very early age. These were bands like Green Day, My Chemical Romance, Motley Crue, Disturbed, etc. Some huge influences in my music are Pierce The Veil, I Prevail, Black Veil Brides, Shakey Graves, Jimi Hendrix, etc. I have a very wide range in music taste in influences. Being a part of several different projects with different genres has really helped me break out of my shell.