Tyler Kneller (that's a silent K, folks) has worked at the campus location of the Moscow Food Co-op since its soft opening in January. "It's a laidback but upbeat atmosphere here," he says of the 320-square foot store on the second floor of the University of Idaho Campus Christian Center, a private property nestled in the heart of Greek Row. The space offers a smaller sampling of the main store: some deli items, baked goods, grocery basics and, of course, coffee.
Tyler spent three weeks training at the Co-op's downtown location before transitioning to the new store. As the store is often staffed by one employee, he says, "I get to do a little bit of everything here. I'm the cashier, barista, stocker. It's great." It'll also be very convenient come fall, when he'll be on campus as a student, double majoring in music performance (piano) and music history in the Lionel Hampton School of Music at the University of Idaho.
Excited to begin this next adventure, Tyler's ultimate goal is to pursue a graduate degree in ethnomusicology, the study of music in its cultural context (i.e., what music means to the player and the listener and how those meanings are conveyed). It explores not only what music is but also why it is. Highly interdisciplinary, ethnomusicology can be the confluence of music, cultural anthropology, folklore, dance, and other fields.
Before moving to the Palouse, Tyler lived in Coeur d'Alene, where he attended the Coeur d'Alene Massage School, earning his certification and then working as an instructor. Knowing about this background, combined with his passion for music, leads us to one of his other interests, sound therapy; this type of therapy utilizes sounds, vibrations, and frequencies to promote health and/or healing.
When asked about his hobbies, Tyler says he enjoys music, running, and hiking. He also works with essential oils and would like to make his own beard oil and beard wax. Holy "I mustache you a question, but I'll shave it for later," Batman! (Yes, he has a beard.)
Where will all this lead him? To a faculty position, teaching and researching at a university? To becoming a museum curator, managing, displaying, and acquiring historical/cultural artifacts? Or becoming a sound therapist or beard product mogul? It's too early to tell, but Tyler's keeping an open mind as he starts down his path.
Working two jobs until he begins the fall semester—at the Marriott in Pullman in addition to the Campus Co-op in Moscow—he’s not slowing down once school begins. In addition to classes and the Co-op, Tyler will be scheduling house calls for massages as a side gig. So, next time you stop in at the new Campus Co-op, grab a pesto roll and put your name on the housecall waitlist.
Advice He Would Give to His 13-Year-Old Self:
1. "Don't worry about what other people think."
2. "Plan ahead."
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Favorite Live Show:
Wicked the Musical (Broadway tour)
Favorite Co-op Foods:
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito (available at both Co-op locations!)
Recent studies have found that musicians use both the left and right sides of their brain more than the average person.