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 a band director who has been involved with MFA/BOA since 1979.
How long have you been teaching?
Classroom teaching: 33 years. Secondary Fine Arts Facilitator position with the Clark County School District for eight years.
What are you doing professionally now?
Working in the Secondary Fine Arts Department for the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, NV. I am also director of the Youth Band for the Las Vegas Youth Orchestra organization.
Where have you taught in the past?
Sand Ridge Jr. High, Sky View H.S. and Mountain Crest H.S. in Utah. Robison M.S. in Las Vegas.
Where did you go to college? What degrees do you earn?
Utah State University in Logan, Utah: Masters Degree and beyond.
What would you say to a new band director who asks you "what is the one thing you wish someone had told you just starting out?"
My position now is to observe and help new teachers. Their struggle seems to always come down to classroom management and the behind the scenes paperwork. From my experience, classroom management with structure and procedures are so important to successful teaching. Always keep the students busy and never waste time. Classroom pacing and enthusiasm are "keys" to success. :-)
Tell us about your participation with Music for All and Bands of America.
I met those involved in Bands of America (MBA) in 1979 and couldn't get enough of the program and the knowledge being shared. I went to workshops, Summer Nationals, and was like a sponge in learning new things. The Sky View Band went to Summer Nationals in 1980 and loved the experience. It was so exciting for me to be asked to be on the Educational Advisory Board for BOA and I enjoyed that time there. When I became the band director at Mountain Crest, we participated in several Western Regionals and also the last Summer Nationals in 1985. The former students still talk about what a wonderful experience they had in participating in that event, and meeting other band students.
Since working in the Secondary Fine Arts Department for the Clark County School District, I have continued to attend several Regionals and have been able to attend Grand Nationals, as my schedule permits. It is such a joy to see how the bands are so amazing and continue to perform at such a high level!
What are some of the highlights and memorable moments from your experiences related to MFA/BOA?
The highlights for me have been all the wonderful mentors and people I have met through this organization! I am so grateful to have been able to associate with such "quality" music educators! I don't even dare begin to name everyone since I would certainly not be able to list the names of all the amazing people who have been such a positive influence on my life! Thank you!
What would you like to see MFA focus on or accomplish in the next 40 years?
Keep going for the kids, teachers, and promote the importance of music education in our schools!