HERRON: What actions or behaviors can students employ to mitigate the risk of accidents?

DUFFEY: Pay attention! That's the single biggest thing. Pay attention to what you're doing and don't get in a rush. Slow down. Stay calm. The biggest accidents always happen when someone is afraid of the tool they're using, trying to get through it as fast as possible. I try my best to make students comfortable with asking questions about their materials. You're never bothering me if you ask me a question.

HERRON: Something students may not know about you is that you're a drummer, too. You even went on tour in the early 2000s with 6 String Drag, The Countdown Quartet and Caitlin Cary. How did you first get into drumming?

DUFFEY: My brother got a drum set. I'd always liked the idea of drummers, and I thought, "Well, maybe I could do that!" I was probably 12 or 13 years old, and it was way too big for either of us. My brother [who bought the set] didn't really know how to play, but my older brother could play. He's the one who taught me. I just took it from there. I would run off the school bus, and before Mom got home from work, I'd go play the drum set. That's how I got into it.

I toured mostly with a band called 6 String Drag. The Countdown Quartet was a lot of fun. Totally different music than I'd played before. Caitlin was so sweet, too. Very talented. She has written songs for so long and is still writing. She's a visual artist, too, who does beautiful embroideries. Going out on tour with her over the summer was great. We traveled all around.

In the summertime, you play a lot of festivals, and you meet so many different people that you know and admire. With The Countdown Quartet, we stayed pretty regional. Several of those guys were longtime friends of mine, and I always admired them. I wasn't their first drummer. (Their first drummer was amazing!) I'd go to their shows all the time before I got on board. They needed a drummer, I was a drummer, and they said okay!