Teacher Appreciation Week: Teacher Testimonials

We asked NAfME Members: “What does being a music teacher mean to YOU?” and “Who inspired YOU to become a music teacher?”




Here are some of the responses we received during Teacher Appreciation Week:


What Does Being a Music Educator Mean To YOU?

Being a music teacher means I get to reach students who other teachers may have “written off”. Everyone is creative!
To me, being a teacher means: building solid foundations, leading kids to a musical life, spreading compassion & bravery, ROCKING OUT!
Being a teacher means helping every student realize they have potential that they can achieve, if they put in the work!
Teaching means sharing the world of music with my students! #ThankATeacher
Being a teacher means watching children set goals and meet them, and to be part of that growing and learning process. #ThankATeacher
Being a music educator is more than teaching the music, it’s about teaching life, love, & being a “family” #ThankATeacher@NAfME
Being a teacher means I get to teach students to love and appreciate music as much as I do! #ThankATeacher
Being a teacher means I have the privilege to share what I love with those around me #ThankATeacher
Being a music teacher gives me the opportunity to hear the souls of my students #ThankAteacher
Being a teacher means I can help my students express themselves in many amazing ways! #ThankATeacher
Being a music teacher means sharing my passion with others who also have a passion for music. Every day I live my hobby.
I love that I can use music to lift the moods of my students. Over the years I have often tried to encourage my students to let the music take over and help them to express themselves.
I love seeing my students find something about music that inspires them to make connections with the world around them and each other.
I love watching my students eyes light up when they “get it”!! Those moments are magical.
Each day I get to share my love and passion with my students, and give them the experiences I was once given!
It means that I get to help students learn to love music as much as I do.
I love holding the key that unlocks the “creativity” in my students. It is as though they are simply waiting for someone to give them permission to do so. Let me be that someone.
Being a music teacher is like life. Everything in one moment, but still each moment so important.
Being a music teacher to me means sharing what I love with students whom I adore. I can challenge them to learn music and life skills while challenging myself musically and creatively. It means that I am recognized wherever I go and sure to get hugs from the students I have had the joy to watch grow. Although there are days where it may be tough to get out of bed, there is never a day it is tough to go to work.
I love teaching how to play with emotion.
Being a music teacher means that I get to live life around creativity. It is so exciting to work with students as they find a place where they can truly think and create within the school.
No matter how bad a day I might be having, putting on a happy face and singing and playing with my students makes me feel lighter and happier. I hope that at least some of my students feel that way when they walk into my music room. I try to be a fun little island amidst a sea of testing and stress.
Being a music teacher is that proud moment when your choir kids ASK to please sing a tough section on solfege, because they know they’ll get it that way.
Love that there is a whole week celebrating my profession! 

Who Inspired YOU To Become a Music Teacher?

So thankful for my middle school, high school and college band directors! #ThankATeacher

Definitely my high school band director. He made me want to share my love of music with everyone! #ThankATeacher

Bob Piotrowski was my Jr High band director. He loved teaching and his students. I wanted to be just like him. #ThankATeacher
Mrs. Morrow inspired me to teach music someday. I couldn’t be more thankful for her and everything she’s done for me. #ThankATeacher
My music teachers inspired me not only to love music but to share music with others! Thank you!
My fourth grade band director Mr. Shanefield made the saxophone seem like the coolest instrument in the world! #ThankATeacher
My high school music teacher Carola Winkle!

My high school band director Paul Montanari is one of the biggest reasons I am a music teacher. Of all my teachers in high school, he was the only one that encouraged me to be a teacher. I also owe the late Bob Portera for seeing my passion for me music and subtlety nudging back in after my life lead me in a different direction. (I was almost an English teacher or an accountant!) Many more wonderful educators helped make me a successful educator and to them I am forever grateful.

I am a third generation music teacher in the Philadelphia School District Started with my grandfather in 1949 then my Father, two uncles and me. It’s not just inspiration. It is me. Often I meet people and they say are related to so and so. I say what school did you attend. Then tell them who taught them. It’s us very gratifying to hear stories about my family #ThankATeacher Or in my case thank a family Paul Kauriga Greg Kauriga Dimitri and Paul Kauriga Jr.

My high school choir director. Every choir director in my district has been taught by her or one of her students! What a legacy!

So many teachers! My high school band directors Joe Vrabec and Tracy Runyan. My college Prof., Caroline Jetton inspired me to teach elementary music.

Mr Giacobbe from Pennichuck Jr High in Nashua NH saw I had some potential and didn’t ask me if I wanted to play oboe, he said I had to. So I switched from clarinet and started on a path that led me through high school, youth orchestras and marching bands, to college where I became a music major and met the love of my life, and now to North Carolina where I teach music. My first year I decided we HAD to have an elementary strings program! And now in my second year we do! Confidence, ambition, and high expectations for what I and my students can do is what he really taught me. I am so very thankful – though I’m not sure how thankful my family was about the oboe.

My high school orchestra teacher, Mr. Botterbusch. I had dreams of being a professional clarinet player and he had a great conversation with me about being an educator, and then took me to hear the Harrisburg regional orchestra play, which he played in, and showed me how he could do both but still educate the next generation of performers. It changed my entire point of view.

The music teachers I had from 5-12 grade made me want to be a music teacher. They inspired me so much. And, I already liked to help people. So, I put two and two together and became a music teacher. I had a lot of obstacles in my way, but I made it. I’m here!

Definitely my high school band director! #ThankATeacher


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Kristen Rencher, Social Media Coordinator. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)