Caleb Balk: Master of multi-tasking

Music education major Caleb Balk can skateboard, sing and play guitar — at once.

On a sunny day outside of Varner Hall is when Balk will most likely be seen multi-tasking. The music education major began his jam sessions on a spring day winter semester of 2013.

He came to school and discovers all the practice rooms are full. By coincidence Balk has his skateboard in the trunk of his car and the tradition begins.

“I get times where I can’t get out of my head,” Balk said. “Riding the board, strumming the guitar and singing allow me to do so many mechanical things at one time.”

Although Balk says remembering proper chord changes and his place in the song can get tricky, his multi-tasking gives him a chance to get in extra practice.

“I’m not doing it for money so if I mess up occasionally I don’t feel like I’m letting anyone down,” Balk said.

Balk’s favorite genre to strum is oldies while skating on his two-wheeled skateboard.

He made his first two-wheeled skateboard purchase while he was in the Air Force. He served for four years. His basic training was in San Antonio, Texas, he was also deployed to Kyrgyzstan for about five months.

“I never got very good at doing skateboard tricks,” Balk said. “But, in the military I got one of these with the two wheels because I thought it looked neat.”

Balk, originally from Romeo, returned to his roots and is currently in his junior year at Oakland University. He is involved in Choral Ensembles and Jazz Combos and participates in Symphony Chorus every spring.

He also performs in the local community. He has performed at Red Ox Tavern in Utica every Tuesday night for about five hours, At Conor O’neills in Ann Arbor, The Island in Sterling Heights and has participated in open-mic nights.

“Sometimes if I’m really overwhelmed I’ll do it just to clear my head,” Balk said.

Some of his favorite songs to play are ‘Fire and Rain’ by James Taylor, ‘Runaround Sue’ originally by Dion and ‘Elenore’ by The Turtles.