Sat., Nov. 13 at 3pm
The Center for Performing Arts
at Governors State University
Tickets start at $14.50
Brian Sheridan hides his inner rocker during the day, when he
teaches business at York High School in Elmhurst. But get him on
stage, and Sheridan, who's been playing bass for the kids' music
collaboration Ralph's World since 2001, comes alive.
We chatted with the Arlington Heights dad of two, who also plays
in the Middle 8 and The Good Mondays when he's not performing
with Ralph's World.
You teach business. I thought you'd be a music
You know, it's funny because I was never formally trained
in music. Over the years I've acquired knowledge on my own, but
I've never received a degree. A faculty band was formed here at
school, and the kids just love it when they see us perform at a
talent show. They like to see us looking human.
How did you get started with Ralph's
I had my own music I was writing and my own bands. I knew
of Ralph and he was with the Bad Examples, a very well-known band
here in the Midwest. I saw he was teaching a song-writing class at
the Old Town School of Folk Music. I thought, I have to take that
class so I could get him to like my songs and help me put together
a recording of them, which ended up being exactly what happened.
The band I was in, Middle 8, put out a record and Ralph produced
it. When Ralph started Ralph's World, he would need a bass player
every once in a while, so I would sub in. That eventually turned
into me doing all the shows.
What was it like going from adult music to kids'
I think if Ralph was writing typical kids' music, it would
have been hard. But his songs are written to please the entire
family, not just the kids, so playing them was a lot of
And you must have been in the throes of early
parenthood when you started with Ralph.
I was. I had a 3-year-old and a 14-month-old, so that was
really fun for me, because I was the demographic for Ralph's World.
For the longest time, my kids, they would love to come to the
shows. So we'd be listening to the music anyway and then I'd get up
there and perform.
What's it like with your high
Teenage kids are very curious about who you are. All they
had to do is Google my name and they found videos that we shot for
Disney, the potty pants song for Huggies. … I've been able to meet
Mitchel Musso from "Hannah Montana." I met Snoop Dogg because we
played Lollapalooza last year. The kids see a picture of me with
these guys and they love it. Of course my own kids, they got to
meet Corbin Bleu of "High School Musical" and Mitchel Musso.
They're backstage and they think it's incredible. … I think they
see me teaching and they know how much I love to teach, and then
they see me get on a stage and rock out-it's been influential to
see those two sides of it, for the kids at school or my own
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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