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About this Video

Ethan Rubin is a teacher and a musician, and he takes both those responsibilities seriously. In this talk, he advocates for helping students use the musical building blocks they’re taught to improvise music that feels authentic to them and the traditions of which they’re a part.

Ethan Rubin is a “recovering violinist” and an English teacher at Roxbury Prep High School. He has played in bands and ensembles across multiple genres, including punk, soul, metal, jazz, and Middle Eastern folk. Ethan graduated from Boston University with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and Spanish and went on to work at YouthBuild Just-A-Start, where he taught construction and employment skills to at-risk urban youth. He attended the University of Cambridge on a Gates Scholarship, where he obtained an MPhil in Educational Leadership and School Improvement. Ethan also has a passion for the outdoors, and recently spent a summer backpacking and rock climbing in the Wind River Mountains with the National Outdoor Leadership School. He now teaches in a charter network dedicated to social justice and racial equality, and plays his fiddle at every opportunity.

Jon Polit is a Boston-area musician. He’s playing in a number of bands in a variety of disciplines and continues to promote folk and improvisational music through his performances.


About the Speakers

Ethan Rubin

Ethan Rubin

Ethan Rubin is a “recovering violinist” and an English teacher at Roxbury Prep High School. He has played in bands and ensembles across multiple genres, including punk, soul, metal, jazz, and Middle Eastern folk. Ethan graduated from Boston University with an undergraduate degree in philosophy and Spanish and went on to work at YouthBuild Just-A-Start, where he taught construction and employment skills to at-risk urban youth. He attended the University of Cambridge on a Gates Scholarship, where he obtained an MPhil in Educational Leadership and School Improvement. Ethan also has a passion for the outdoors, and recently spent a summer backpacking and rock climbing in the Wind River Mountains with the National Outdoor Leadership School. He now teaches in a charter network dedicated to social justice and racial equality, and plays his fiddle at every opportunity.

John Polit

John Polit

Jon Polit is a Boston-area musician. He’s playing in a number of bands in a variety of disciplines and continues to promote folk and improvisational music through his performances.