Woodard Shares Passion for Music

Elaine Liu, Co-Print Managing Editor

At C Lunch, junior Ethan Woodard and his friends put on a show with guitars and vocals. Woodard sings to the cafeteria audience while his friend junior Kyle Rodriguez Velez fulfills the role of lead guitarist, performing songs by a series of artists, such as Kodaline, Riptide and the Pixies. The cafeteria audience watches the band attentively, gently moving to the sway of the music and applauding at the end of each song, showing their appreciation.

Woodard is learning to play Kodaline’s “The Answer” to add to his repertoire. However, “All I Want” by Kodaline and “Let Her Go” by Passenger are currently Woodard’s favorite songs to perform, as the songs’ heartfelt moods allow him to connect with the audience emotionally. He believes that the audience serves an equally important role in music as the songwriter.

“It’s knowing that you have a crowd in front of you that enjoys and likes your music, but not only that, but that you know you can create this music that makes people feel a certain way and it brings joy to know that they enjoy your music,” said Woodard.

Starting his musical journey as a pianist fourteen years ago, Woodard then learned drums and ukulele. He took his brother’s ukulele to practice and then bought himself a Mini Martin acoustic guitar. Presently, he has been playing guitar for roughly half a year

“From the 1980s Metallica, Aerosmith– they all defied what people thought was able to be done with guitars,” said Woodard. “Guitars can be so many things and nobody knows. With distortion, you can make it sound like a synth or piano; you can make it sound like an electronic sound. It’s so beautiful. And sometimes you can make it sound like literal singing and it just has a voice of its own.”

Like any instrument, Woodard has faced some obstacles learning guitar, such as acquiring the technique of chord finger formations. In addition to performing, Woodard also writes songs with Rodriguez Velez, who adds extra chords and revises Woodard’s ideas. The duo partners at their church and performs in a band– something they deeply enjoy.

“It’s the meanings and feelings you can make by writing words and singing them,” said Woodard. “Music has such emotion and even piano and instruments the emotions are so strong and it’s awesome… I can do that and play that for somebody.”