The Villages - August 2018 - 21
B a n d D i r e c t o r,
The Villages High School
Q. Did you have a favorite teacher who inspired you?
A.My band director in seventh grade. I started playing
clarinet and then went on to college for music education.
Music brought me out of my shell. I'm still a wallflower
with the adults, but when I'm with the kids, I'm fine. I really
connect with them and enjoy our time together.
Q. How do you get your students excited about learning?
A.I try to challenge them with more difficult music. I give
them music that's a bit out of their reach, and I know they
will get it. Initially, they have a lot to work on, but they're
doing awesome. They got superior ratings on their music
performance assessments. We went to state and that was
a big deal. If they ever need help, they just ask. And if I'm
too busy, I have Villagers who are always willing to step in
and volunteer. We have a really good network of helpers -
retired music teachers are happy to assist.
Q. When did you decide you wanted to be a teacher?
A.In my sophomore year. I took chorus class and the choir
director saw that I could actually sing but I was just very
quiet. Then I took music theory and prepared for a career in
music. I had to play every instrument - strings, woodwinds,
brass instruments, everything. You have to learn them all in
order to teach. I'm now a flute choir director.
Q. How does working in The Villages compare to
A.I love to see the older generation connect with the kids.
They really are great kids and Villagers recognize it. One
gentleman was so taken with our bass clarinet players, he
went out and bought them their own clarinet stands. When
he brought them over, the kids were stunned.
Q. Why is music important?
A.It's a form of self-expression. The kids can make friends
with other kids who enjoy music and have the same interests.
They're like a family- they get along and help each other.
They become more organized; they become better students.
We work together as a group - it's a democracy. If they're
in the band program, they feel a part of something. When
my son went to Penn State (University), he was quiet but he
found a nice group and the music helped him become more
Q. What have your students taught you?
A.They're very giving and they go with the flow. Sometimes
I get last-minute calls to do concerts and the kids are so
easygoing. They adjust their schedules and we work it out.
They amaze me - all the things they get done. I don't
know how they manage so much. Some students are doing
college courses at night. I'm busy too. I have rehearsals in
the evenings and many times I don't get home until around
9 p.m. But I feed off my students' energy, and we all just keep
Q. What does a good day look like for you?
A.Every day. I never think, 'I don't want to go to school
today.' I really enjoy what I do. I taught for 34 years in New
Jersey, and I didn't really want to retire. It was easy for me
to get back into teaching. I started as a helper when I moved
to The Villages, but when the position opened up here, I was
asked to fill it and I did.
Q. What are your interests outside of the classroom?
A.I like to swim and I love animals. I had a small farm in
New Jersey - a horse and some goats. My horse was too old
to travel with - he's 42 and still living on the farm. But I
brought my goats with me. My realtor put them in the back
of his truck! They live in Weirsdale and I visit them when I
can. And, of course, I stay busy with my rehearsals, too.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Villages - August 2018
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The Villages - August 2018 - Contents
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