Ridge Grinstead, 23, laughed when asked the question “What did you want to be when you grew up?” There was a pause, “Well, I wanted to be a scientist … ’cause I wanted to make a pill that would make a person fly.”
When asked why, he laughed again, “I don’t really know, I just did.”
But that dream changed dramatically, and, according to Ridge, “dramatically. I wanted to be a musician, and then I thought I wanted to teach kids music … and when I realized I could play and teach at the same time, I thought that was the way I wanted to go.”
He said he had always enjoyed music, but started really paying attention when “I started noticing drummers on music videos and thought that was cool.” He was eight or nine years old at the time.
And then his grandparents bought him his first drum set, and the rest is history as they say.
Ridge played drums in middle and high school in Hawkinsville and now plays in an ensemble at Middle Georgia College as well as at the First Baptist Church of Hawkinsville and with the Christian praise band, The Barabbas Project. Ridge was brought on the band staff at the local high school to “help with the drums” right after he graduated high school – something he still enjoys doing to this day.
The son of the late Timmy Grinstead and Lisa Burdeshaw, Ridge graduated from Hawkinsville High School in 2007, where he was the drum line captain his junior and senior years.
He credits music as a sort of therapy for him. “My dad was killed in a car accident in 1989. I wasn’t but a year old, and you know, when I play, I really don’t think, and I just didn’t think about growing up without a dad … playing drums, I just get into a zone that is … indescribable.”
And having that type of appreciation for music is what Ridge tries to stress to the students he works with, including the seven or eight students who he has taught in private lessons.
“There are so many answers to what I try to teach them – there area variety of things … from the standard hand to hand and feet to feet coordination. If there is a percussion instrument out there, I can teach it.”
Growing up in Hawkinsville has been a plus for Ridge. “It is a small town and everyone knows everyone and you get to build relationships that last a long time. It is a good thing … yeah …”
He will graduate from Middle Georgia College in December of this year, and he hopes to “really get out and stabilize myself on my own.”
And he is looking for “a change in 2012.”
Ridge will still be carrying his drumsticks no matter what.