Norwalk music passes through the generations

Norwalk graduate and local musician teaches students to play instruments his own Norwalk home


Quinn Trilk

Dan Trilk teaches a student piano in his basement after school on Oct. 25. Piano is one of the many instruments Trilk teaches, as he has played it throughout the majority of his life.

Taylor Stanley, Staff Writer

For the last fifteen years, Trilk has been teaching instrumental music lessons to students around the Des Moines area ranging from young elementary age to high school students.

“I started teaching when I was young in high school, and later started at both Reiman’s Music and Main Street School, where my schedule quickly filled up,” he said. “But for the last five years, I have exclusively been teaching after-school lessons in my own basement here in Norwalk.”

Trilk said he enjoys working with many different instruments, and is always open to new things.

“My main is guitar, but I’ve been playing piano for 15 years,” he said. “I also do some drums, bass guitar, and even ukulele.”

Trilk said that he remembers being a young Norwalk student interested in music.

“My teacher at Lakewood had a vocal group, and played the song ‘I Feel the Earth Move’ by Carole King,” he said. “After that, I continued to ask her to sing it because I loved it.”

Trilk said he was so interested in music at this age that he never needed a reminder to practice, and even started his own group.

“No one had to tell me to practice because I had always loved it,” he said. “In eighth grade, I formed a band called Splat, and even got to perform at school and sign autographs.”

Trilk said that you can start learning music at any time.

“It’s never too late to get into it,” he said. “Just play a little each day; it doesn’t have to be a lot. Music is a great way to participate in your community and enhance culture.”

Trilk said what is most rewarding in teaching is the future of the students.

“What is most exciting to see when teaching is a student who has a deep love or natural ability for music,” he said. “That’s when I can tell they are going to do this for the rest of their lives.”

Brooke Kimball, a 16-year-old musician and Trilk’s student, said being in a band and a music student has had a positive impact on her life.

“Being a part of a band outside of school has given me even more time to let the artistic side of my mind grow outside of the stresses of high school,” she said. “Music is important for me to be involved in because it’s a creative outlet and something that I really enjoy and want to continue doing for my whole life.”

Quinn Trilk, another young Norwalk musician, is not only a student of Trilk but doubles up as his daughter.

“Working with my dad for all of these years has been really eye opening to me,” she said. “Not many kids get to experience their parent’s work like I have.”

Trilk said she is planning on carrying through with music throughout the next generation.

“I am planning to go down the same career path as him, so he has been really helpful and inspiring,” she said.