Mr. Munroe’s class interviews Simon Ward of the Strumbellas

As a follow up to our news about grit and perseverance, we have completed our interview with Mr. Simon Ward of the Juno award winning band, The Strumbellas!

You can see our original video here: http://sendvid.com/umfqwdia

Mr. Ward was also kind enough to send us a little message from the band’s tour! Check it out: http://sendvid.com/bzzj86yv

Below is a transcript of our interview with Mr. Ward.


1. During your life so far, what has been one of the biggest goals you’ve set for yourself that you have achieved?

When we started our band I really wanted to play music all around the world. There’s such a big world out there to see and I really wanted to travel to many different places. So far we’ve had the opportunity to see every Canadian province, most states in the U.S.A, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It’s very magical seeing new places and meeting all sorts of different people around the world.

2. What did you have to do to accomplish that goal?

We worked very hard and played as many shows as we could in order to have the opportunity to travel around to different countries. We started out in Toronto and played farmer’s markets, house shows, small venues and pretty much anything we could.

3. Where did you get your inspiration?

I get my inspiration from personal experiences in life, my friends and family, and the places I live and visit. (in fact…I wrote some songs at Bowmore when I was teaching there!) I think there are so many great things to learn from the people around me and I try to learn everything I can from people and then write about it in my songs.

4. Were there any obstacles that got in your way? If so, how did you handle that? What about people? Were there any people who discouraged you while reaching for your goal?

There were many obstacles in getting the band to the level we are at. Many long drives, playing to empty places, spending time away from my family, and making very little money for a long time. One thing that kept me going was the people around me. My family and band mates are always very supportive and we like to think we are a big family and are always there for each other when things get hard.

5. Did you ever think of giving up? If so, how did you overcome that feeling?

I have thought about giving up. Sometimes when you dedicate your life to something it can be really hard to feel like it’s all worth it. But the truth is, I always remind myself that I’m given one chance at life I want to make the most of it. Every day is a chance to better yourself and make a small difference in this world, and I’m trying to do that with my music.

6. When you achieved your goal, how did it help you in life? What is your life like now that you have accomplished your goal?

For me there are always new goals to achieve, but I have achieved some goals and it’s been truly magical. I was very excited to win a Juno Award, play on national television, and play a festival to over 5000 people! I find that setting goals out and then achieving them is a great way to build your confidence and keeps you motivated to continue making new goals and achieving them.

The class was very excited for the opportunity to interview Mr. Ward and we talked at length about setting goals, challenges and persevering despite obstacles. All in all, the interview was such a valuable experience to having the students understand that they can achieve anything, despite challenging times or things put in their way. Our next step is to begin setting our own goals, just like Mr. Ward!

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