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MSU music professor meddles in metal music on new album

taylor-250-300.jpgAt Morehead State University, students of every major are given opportunities outside the classroom where they can apply what they learned in the real world. As it turns out, getting a bit of applied learning doesn’t just apply to Eagle students.

Dr. Paul Taylor, associate professor of music, makes sure that on an occasional weekend and in the summer months, he is still getting a chance to teach and be creative even if he isn’t in an MSU classroom. Taylor takes his knowledge as a pianist to Cincinnati to instruct young musicians at the School of Rock in keyboards and electronic sounds.  

“I’ve become more aware as I’ve been teaching here that just playing piano and teaching theory is not enough,” he said. “The students need somebody that’s doing something like that to keep them on top of the profession. Otherwise, our profession gets frozen in time.”

During his many stints instructing at the School of Rock and doing shows, Taylor made connections with staff at the school and other professional musicians and got connected with the five-piece metal band Black Tractor. The group recruited Taylor’s abilities to enhance the recording of its upcoming album “The Wonders of the Invisible World” on Shotgun Casserole Records. The recording session led to Taylor using a synthesizer to create keyboard and string parts, along with doing everything from plucking piano strings to rolling rocks around inside the instrument to create surreal, unusual sonic elements.

“That’s the only thing I haven’t done in my life is that, so I figured, what the heck,” Taylor said on recording metal music. “It was a challenge, believe me, to come up with some kind of music, a keyboard part, for some sort of off-the-wall-type of music is not easy.”

Taylor said opportunities away from the classroom, whether he is teaching young musicians or recording metal albums, helps him grow as a player, a performer and an instructor.

“It’s a connection with the industry,” he said. “You can’t learn that from a book. You’ve got to be in there doing it.”

To learn more information on MSU’s Department of Music, Theatre and Dance, contact 606-783-2473, or visit