October Teacher Spotlight: David Schurger

Our October Teacher Spotlight is David Schurger from Indianapolis, IN. David is currently the Orchestra Director at Zionsville Community High School and began his career there in spring of 2014. He lives in Indy with his wife, Liz, who is also a music teacher, and their two dachshunds, Gus and Gretl. Along with teaching at Zionsville, David is the Music Director, Conductor, and a founding member of the Indiana University School of Medicine Orchestra. He is a board member for the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, and if that wasn’t impressive enough, he’s even been published in ASTA! David is a wonderful educator and has many talents. If you’d like to learn more about him, keep reading!

Can you tell me a little about your school’s orchestra program?

Our program is in its 15th year and steadily growing. We have 3 orchestras at the high school and 2 middle school programs.

What city do you currently teach in?

Zionsville, IN

What instruments do you play/ teach?

Band and Orchestra. I play percussion and viola. I teach full string orchestra and aid with freshman band and wind ensemble.

How did your career in music get started?

I have been playing drums since I was 5. Music Education found me at Ball State. Teaching started with band camps, then percussion lessons, then a stint as band graduate assistant with Purdue bands, then a masters in Instrumental Conducting, starting the IUSM Orchestra, learning viola, and now teaching strings.

What’s your favorite song to play?

Big band arrangement of “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.” On drum set, of course. 

What are some of your other hobbies?

  • Working out

  • Cooking, grilling, smoking meats

  • Cognitive Psychology Research and expert skill acquisition

  • Building/remodeling

  • Hanging out with my wife and dogs.

What has been your favorite moment as a teacher?

Any moment when my students get the “A-HA!!”.

What do you find to be the best motivator for students?

Each other.

What are your future goals as a musician and teacher?

  • More guest clinician/speaker engagements.

  • Perform and conduct all the Beethoven symphonies with my orchestra or any other group. 3rd-9th to go. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?

Enjoy what you do. Have fun. Life is too short to get bent out of shape by someone else’s perceived successes.

Fun fact?

I started a concrete artisan business, Schurger Concrete Abstracts, prior to my current appointment as Orchestra Director at Zionsville Community HS.

Courtney Kappa