TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – “And I remember going up to you one day and just saying ‘you know what, I’m going to be better than you,'” Zach Weaver jokingly remembers.
A friendly competition between teacher and student seems to have continued beyond the classroom.
But Four Cords, a quartet composed of a teacher and three former students, all view one another simply as fellow musicians.
“I mean, there wasn’t much of a transition to go from you know having been his student to.. You know.. Especially now being a colleague teacher as well…,” explained Brian Ingram. “There wasn’t much of a transition to do something like that.”
Rodney Foster made his philosophy clear for his students from day one.
“I tell them, ‘I am not your teacher, you are not my students. You are a musician and I am a musician – I happen to be the musician with the most experience here,'” Foster states.
Years later these four have found themselves back in the classroom rehearsing together but all on equal ground.
“I don’t really view him as a teacher, more like a pretty good friend,” Logan Payton said.
“No one’s better than anyone because it’s just one of those things where you all have to play at the same level, you know..” Weaver described. “You all have to work equally as hard to keep basically this whole machine.. To keep it going, you know. You all have to know your parts to make something sound good.”
And while they all work together, all working as one, that doesn’t stop them from pushing each other.
“Part of this dynamic of us, continuing to play together, is because I’m trying to keep playing because I’m trying to stay better than him (Weaver) because as long as I stay better than him in whatever way shape or form it is – if it’s still my reading skills or whatever it is that pushes him, he’s getting better by leaps and bounds,” Foster stated. “And so I love watching this growth here.”
While no longer their teacher, there will still always be time for learning.
“Inevitability at some point he is going to surpass me. It’s going to be a nice, friendly competition right up until that happens.”
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