I knew at a young age I wanted to be a teacher. I remember my friends playing ‘mama with their babies’, but I always chose the role of their babies’ teacher. My parents were in the antique business and we spent countless hours at auctions, antique stores and swap meets. Anytime I saw a small desk, a child’s chalkboard, the perfect ledger book, or anything that would build my ‘classroom’ I knew I had to have it. Playing ‘classroom’ was my favorite pastime as a child and I played it more than any other game of imagination. 

My first piano lessons were in first grade with my mother, and I began taking formal lessons in third grade and continued through college. Music was my passion, so imagine my delight when I realized music could be a part of my future career. I was teaching piano and horn lessons by my senior year in high school and was one of the church service accompanists as well as teaching Sunday school. My high school science teacher suggested I join Future Teachers of America (FTA); I was placed with the beginning band and from there I was hooked!

My students’ successes in education, in music, and in life are my greatest accomplishments. I gain no greater joy than from a student telling me music changed his or her life. I love teaching, and feel blessed everyday to have been afforded the opportunity for a career that supports my passion for both music and education. I get to spend everyday nurturing a love of both lifelong learning and music for myself as well as fostering the same for my students. 

Individualized instruction and mastery learning is so important for our students. This is something that I did not have as an elementary or secondary student in my school’s band program. I was fortunate to have this fostered through my piano lessons; but as a horn student, I did not learn the fundamentals and technique for my instrument until college. This is, to me, one of the most important components of the Practicing Musician resource. I am the only music teacher in a small rural district. I teach K-12 music, and what Practicing Musician offers to my program is invaluable. The ability to provide individualized instruction to my students will be similar to having an assistant who is proficient on each instrument helping in my program. My students will have the opportunity to work at their own pace, while developing the necessary skills to master their instrument.

I am looking forward to fully integrating Practicing Musician into my beginning band program for this coming school year. I know that working for individual mastery in my students’ beginning year will lay a strong foundation that will pay off in dividends for my students as individual musicians as well for my middle school and high school ensembles. As the intermediate and advanced materials become available, I will be integrating these into our program as well.

***For comprehensive training on how to utilize Practicing Musician as we return to school for the 2021-22 school year, register for “Your Passion, Their Success!” Practicing Musician’s first annual summer symposium.