In celebration of Music for All’s 40th Anniversary in 2015, we are featuring profiles of music educators who have made a difference in Music for All and in band and orchestra education. In this post we feature an orchestra director who's went above and beyond to share her natural gift of music.
Paula Krupiczewicz, a native of Grand Rapids, MI, received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Viola Performance at the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS. She holds a Master of Music from the University of Akron and a Bachelor of Music from Western Michigan University. As an active violist, Paula has presented solo recitals, collaborated on chamber recitals, and performed with symphony orchestras throughout Georgia, Colorado, Mississippi, Alabama, Ohio, and Michigan. She has performed with artists such as Placido Domingo, Joshua Bell, Julia Fischer, Sir James Galway, Michael Stern, Robert Spano, and Joan Tower. Paula has been a long-standing member of the International Viola Society, American Federation of Musicians, and is a member of the Theta Chi Chapter of Pi Kappa Lambda National Music Honor Society.
Paula has held the position of orchestra director at North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, GA since 2008. She performs regularly with the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Rome Symphony, and the Macon Symphony Orchestra, in addition to teaching a small private studio. Paula enjoys practicing her viola, running, cycling, yoga, CrossFit, and is a triathlete.
Where have you taught in the past?
I taught one semester, after finishing my Doctor of Musical Arts in Viola, in the Gulfport School District (MS) as assistant in the orchestra program (elementary to high school).
What advice do you have for a new Orchestra director who asks you "what are some things you wish someone had told you just starting out?"
I come from a performance background so I have different perspective on this. I never student taught, I just took Praxis 1&2. While working with my mom, who was an educator, on the materials for Praxis 2, I said to her one day, "This is common sense." Teaching requires common sense, and you must be willing to be flexible and experiment with the presentation of skills to be studied and learned. If you are able to present techniques/skills to be learned in different ways, then you have the key to a successful group. I, myself, had to fix many things in my playing - I like to say I was not a natural - by learning how to fix my technical problems, I am able to help many of my students with theirs. I have many tricks up my sleeve from my own experiences and I like to share these with my students.
What has been your experience with Music for All? What events have you attended and in what roles, and what benefits do you believe Music for All programs can provide?
My experience with Music for All has been varied. My orchestras at North Cobb High School, for three years now, have hosted the Bands of America Super Regional Championship at the Georgia Dome. We provide all of the volunteers to make the event run smoothly. Students and parents come together for the two-day show and give their time to MFA to make this an enjoyable event for the participating bands and the MFA staff. I have also worked with the Music for All's national Honor Orchestra of America. Last year I came and observed the event, and this year I have taken on the role as the National Honor Orchestra Assistant. This is an incredible experience for all students in attendance, as well as for those working closely with the students. To watch a group of high school students come together for one purpose - to make great music - and enjoy every bit of it is life-changing. Music for All and the National Honor Orchestra definitely change students' lives. Music for All has given students and their teachers, from all over the country, the opportunity to come together to celebrate and perform music.
What do you like to see Music for All focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
I would like to see Music for All continue to give students the ability to share their love of music with others. And to continue to provide these students with the opportunity to gather as a large body of like-minded beings for one purpose - to create beautiful music together.