Walter Schleisman — Musician

By Elizabeth


Walter Schleisman drummed in his first rock band when he was in eighth grade. His love of music led to a ten-year stint as a middle school band and general music teacher.  Walter is now an assistant principal in Minneapolis. He’s also my husband.

Walter was one of the primary music experts Josh and I consulted when we were writing UNBORED. In addition to drums, he also specializes in trombone and guitar. He loves all kinds of music, from country to blues to hip hop to rock.

Walter doesn’t believe in forcing our kids to play an instrument. The way he sees it, music is like sports–you have to want to do it to be successful. So while all three of our kids play in their school bands or take lessons, none of them so far has wanted to be in a rock band. That’s a disappointment to Walter, but he’d rather they spend their free time pursuing their own interests.

I asked Walter for a few of his favorite online music resources. Here are his recommendations:

  • All MusicAn exhaustive compilation of all kinds of information about virtually every band that’s ever recorded an album. Take a listen to the clip of “Father Lied” by King Of France. That’s Walter on the trombone.
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We visited this Cleveland landmark on a road trip to Toronto and Niagara Falls. It’s an amazing place, if you’re ever in the neighborhood. If you’re not, the website has features on current exhibits and the permanent collection.
  • Experience Music Project. Based in Seattle, this museum of contemporary popular culture always has a lot of fun photographs of musicians and instruments. It also hosts a variety of teen band workshops.

Walter is currently in a major Rolling Stones phase. Here’s one of his favorites–the charms of which are completely lost on our kids.




This one also makes him smile every time he sees it.



P.S. This photo wasn’t taken in 1982–that’s some goofy function of Hipstamatic. Walter’s wearing the cereal box hat because he’s doing live action role play in the Sculpture Garden of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.