Like many fourth graders, Ben Taylor was not a fan of school. But after he graduated from the Steiner School in New York and worked on a biodynamic farm in New Mexico, he began to appreciate and fully understand the Waldorf method of teaching.

To that end, on Wednesday this week Mr. Taylor will perform at the Island Theatre in Oak Bluffs to raise money to support the Plum Hill preschool. Money raised at the event will go to the school’s Together We Build capital campaign to help expand the school’s facilities.

“It’s a wonderful cause,” Mr. Taylor said in an interview as he was traveling back to the Island from a recent tour. “I’m excited about the Plum Hill School expanding and I’m excited to be back in town.”

The Waldorf education philosophy is based on interdisciplinary learning, heavily incorporating natural resources and imagination into the curriculum. “I didn’t get it at first,” Mr. Taylor said about the learning method. “I developed a thirst for knowledge at a different time.”

Mr. Taylor said teaching has begun to appeal to him, and he has started teaching music to his young nieces and nephews.

“I keep on trying to figure it out, what the right environment to do it will be,” he said. “It’s a learning process in itself when you’re teaching it [music] . . . you need to see it once, do it once, and teach it once to really master music.”

Mr. Taylor grew up seeing movies at the Island Theatre, and said he looks forward to performing there.

He is currently working on a few albums this year and will be on tour in the fall. But he didn’t always know music was his life path, even growing up with Carly Simon and James Taylor as parents.

“I always respected and appreciated it like somebody does the church when they grow up in a religious family — church of music in a real serious way,” he said. “It wasn’t until I got into my mid-20s that I thought seriously about pursuing it as a career.”

On his way back to the Island, Mr. Taylor said he was listening to Saul Williams, Bill Withers, Nina Simone, Cat Stevens, Paul McCartney and George Gershwin. He was looking forward to cooking seafood, visiting the Polly Hill Arboretum and playing frisbee with his dog when he returns.

“I like playing concerts on the Vineyard in the summertime, the entire Island is my campfire,” he said, adding, “It’s a great environment for fund-raising as well.”


The Plum Hill School benefit is Wednesday at 6 pm at the Island Theatre on Circuit avenue in Oak Bluffs at 6 p.m. Tickets are available at