HERE COMES THE BLOOD, in which Linden Waldorf alum Christopher Coburn tells how he came to write and record a song for 7th grade Physiology.

Recorded June 28, 2019 Archived June 28, 2019 19:33 minutes
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Id: APP647720


"Deoxygenated, accumulated blood running to the heart . . . ."

Why and how is a song about the cardiovascular system created, recorded, and produced by a 7th grade student for a Physiology block? This interview with class teacher Catie Johnson of Linden Waldorf School of Nashville and alumnus Christopher Coburn (LWS 2015) gives the backstory. As to Mrs. Johnson's encouragement that he tie his passion for creating music to learning about the human body in 7th grade, the now 18-year-old Christopher says, "Linden has given me the closest to what I could ever have hoped my education to be."


  • Christopher Coburn
  • Catie Johnson
  • LindenWaldorfSchool

Interview By



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00:01 Hello, this is Marion and I'm the Outreach coordinator at lindenwaldorfschool. Today, is an auspicious day is the summer solstice. It's June 21st, 2019, and I'm happy to be sitting here with two very special. People Katie Johnson, one of our teachers here at lindenwaldorfschool in Nashville, Tennessee. Hi Katie. Hi Miriam. Thank you. Have your former students Christopher Coburn? Hey, Christopher, Christopher.

00:38 Either one is completely fine to come here today because a special relationship. You have taught. Numerous students at our school candy. Is that rise? True looped around 1, Christopher was in the first class 2015. So, you graduate with the class of 2015, Christopher, 23 now that you are not with us from the age of three or four. What happened. How did you get to us and sign this Johnson?

01:37 And it's very interesting. My mom went out searching and she always knew that I had a sort of wanted to find something who created creative Outlook via, whatever education to might be receiving and dumb and she just loved the philosophy of Linden and and Waldorf curriculums. And so and so just ended up being a perfect match. And I just mailed it in right away and participated in 7th and 8th grade at Christopher's. Coming to you as an older child as a seventh-grader, which is not always easy to do. When you join a class of students that have been together for a long time, have done a lot of things very differently and some other schools might do them and Christopher came in and just this the class just serve scooped him up.

02:37 He was one of the members of the class right from the start. And I think that had something to do with what Christopher mentioned in. I'm always looking for some creativity. And I think that that was one of the things that helped him be such a successful student at Linden, was that he was inquisitive about everything. Very, very creative, both artistically and musically, but I'd say, like one of the most interesting things, I have a friend in my, I'm in my class who went to New Zealand for his high school years and he's visiting this week and we're still very close friends. And I'm friends with all my piercing, the alumni class in, so that can give some sort of ideas to how close I became with the class and still being friends with

03:37 Pretty much every single one of his classmates generous and kind of what a traditional school or even onto a private education at Montgomery. Bell Academy, and I enjoyed those two years and I should have continued, my musical exploration riding a piano concerto for the orchestra. For my junior year. I went to another private school and then from my senior year I did homeschooling which I felt helped me with music as well. See you got a lot of things inside as well.

04:29 Yeah, it's participated in many bands and I've been part of the curb Youth Orchestra, which is Seth Blair said of organization. And next year. I'm going to be participating Academy for audio, engineering has been one of the best in the world.

05:05 Your students, they all have different strengths and challenges and opportunities for growth. I imagined to having Christopher come in a little later presented a special type of learning curve for him. Can you expand a little bit on that think? So maybe that Christopher experienced witch, who knows something about education, will know what I'm talking about. The mainlesson book The work, especially at the 7th grade level of the amount of work that goes into, that whole process of making the main lesson book,

05:49 I think just that maybe even though Christopher was very artistic. So it always looked beautiful. Just confronting the how do I say no to? I'd say how to sacrifice getting every single detail exactly to the to the, to the, in order, to make sure I meet the deadline. Yeah, definitely in. It was a it was actually really inspiring and I could see that some people who could have less, I guess, artistic but had some other fantastic virtues. And so is it was great to be

06:49 Least amongst people who aren't all exactly the same interest.

06:56 Memory, that you can tell us about with regard to teaching Christopher.

07:09 Only one of my favorite memories of teaching Christopher absolutely. One of my favorite teaching moments in all of my years of teaching and it went like this. So this was I believe one of our block. So whenever blocks on the cardiovascular system, talking about how the heart works and functionalities in, areas in the heart and pump blood throughout the body. And, and I specifically remember, even though this being for five years ago, forgetting to write down the date of the final exam on the subject, and then realizing it too late and

07:56 Coming to school at day and taking the exam into my just having a very poor grade. Despite having perhaps been able to have been ready. So Miss Johnson incredibly kindly and thinking about ways that that I might be able to still benefit from learning or at least retain the information proposed using one of my gifts, as a methodology and of Education, which I think is genius. And so I, my my gift, I guess you could say it's music making himself has me writing a song on the cardiovascular system.

08:42 I said to Christopher actually Christopher information the Year. This was towards the end of the seventh grade year. And yes, it was the physiology Block in the specific. Christopher is talking about is the cardiovascular system, and he clearly did not learn it and I really step was not my intentions. So Christopher by this time pretty well. I thought to myself. Okay, he's got to learn that I'm not okay with us. And so I said so Christopher you like writing music. Don't you? You said, oh, yes, you some extra credit. If you write me a song about the cardiovascular system, but it has to include everything you were supposed to learn.

09:40 I think it only took like around three days. I think like, it was just a few days and I wrote the song based on the path of the blood, the path, the blood takes throughout the heart and and got the extra credit and piano. And then I was just learning and just sort of burgeoning us a producer, starting to produce my own music and I produce it, which is a very common production software.

10:18 Hum a few bars for his, can you even after all these years? I guess that this supposed to have intentionally made it so catchy, so that it would remember all the septic. I remember taking it with my little 7th grade, boys, but I have the recording of us was the first person here that

11:08 I said this was a threshold. It sounds like you broke through. You broke through introduced, a friend of mine to Linden who also came in seventh grade just like I did and I sent him the song and he told me that it helped him as well on the same block. And so it was just a wonderful thing to eat to help him through that. Just like an, I guess at least jumping up on the pat, my passion that already have for the subject sentence.

11:41 Call. Here comes the blood. Would you like to hear a little bit?

12:51 Salma Hayek.

14:09 Omaha.

14:44 And I did that with no help for a couple of influences for you to call the police and many, many, many other bands, especially, I only listen to old things. Now. I'm finally getting more modern but that actually has to be a critical point in my life because up to that point. I never produced a song. So I was actually the first hole produced song. So, so how did you

15:33 Bring us to the class. How did this come back to the class? Did you play it? We did play it for them to service. I did for him too. I think. And then I was so impressed to say the least. I have never denied her or heard of anything so pulled into class of 2015 at lindenwaldorfschool, with his class teacher.

16:19 If This Were to be our last conversation about lindenwaldorfschool,

16:28 Christopher, what would you want me to know?

16:31 Well, I would say over all my experience with school, has always been a difficult one. And sometimes I've always had to come to terms with how I find interested in all that I can do some texts, and everything else. I've been learning. And by far, even a normal, high school years, I'd say, Linden has given me the closest to what I would have ever hoped my education to be. And so that's why I'm always so passionate talk about it, and because it was so much closer to, to my passionate actually excelled. I excelled in terms of learning.

17:07 Just in general, and

17:10 Yeah, and I'd say just a positive experience. Of course as time goes by, you tend to remember the good parts. But if I really should have pushed myself back there and put myself back in the same shoes. I was back then even with all the hardships and things that comes with education and learning in general, especially with my shortcomings, such as perfectionism and anxiety, and whatever else might be telling me, I'd say overall it was a very formative experience. And so and say, I hope it was for everybody else too. And thank you for listening and solute and resilience and stick-to-itiveness. And how does this speak to the pedagogical impulse of Waldorf education in Iran and pushing through because you use this as a teachable moment, right?

18:10 What does comes closest to pedagogical is that? You reached out in front of you comes with their own gifts and the Run challenges that they're here to overcome. So if you can provide those opportunities and build into them at some resistance and inability to face your fears are faced with challenges. I think that then you've had a success and not the general approach of going the same way all the students. Because if you look at any individual their learning habits or shortcomings will not all be identical. And so that by far away, I forgot to mention the individualistic aspect of Linden as well, which is perpetuated by the Factory Short small classes, which helps with one-on-one, with our teacher. It was definitely a lifesaver, really good.

19:07 It sounds like you two were good fit and it sounds like it would have been a great class of been a part of. It was a fun class for sure. Thank you, Katie Johnson. Thank you, Christopher. And men's at Linden Waldorf School in Nashville, Tennessee, on June 21st is summer solstice.