Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Get To Know You Blog Hop

Hello! I am participating in a blog hop with several other music education bloggers. We are each sharing our background information and then answering a more specific question. We invite you to comment and share your answers as well to be entered in a giveaway. For more information about this and if you would like to start at the beginning of the blog hop, follow this link: http://www.yellowbrickroadblog.com/2015/07/getting-to-know-you-blog-hop.html

My Background

I have lived in Kentucky all my life. I began playing trumpet in 6th grade and began to take music more seriously in high school. I chose to major in music education because music was my passion and I wanted a career I would enjoy. I hold bachelors and masters degree in music education, both from the University of Louisville. I completed all three levels of Orff-Schulwerk training at the University of Kentucky.  I am also a National Board Certified Teacher. This August, I will begin my 11th year teaching.

Influential Music Teachers

In past posts, I have mentioned the influence of Dr. Rob Amchin  He is the head of the music education department at the University of Louisville. Prior to elementary methods, I thought I was destined to be a band director. Dr. Amchin opened my eyes to the wonderful world of elementary music!

 I have also posted about my former trumpet professor, Dr. Michael Tunnell.
 Without the scholarship he awarded me, I would not have been able to attend UofL. Doc T also taught me the importance of being patient and kind when working with children.

My biggest influence, and favorite music teacher, is my high school band director, Mr. Gary Parker. Throughout my childhood, I was very shy and lacked self-confidence. In middle school band, I was just a mediocre musician happy to play a second trumpet part. I never thought I had much potential. Mr. Parker encouraged me to practice and improve my trumpet skills. I never thought it would be possible, but my senior year I made the top symphonic band at All-State!

Mr. Parker also challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and become a leader. He started a leadership team as a way for students to provide input on important decisions affecting the band. The students on the leadership team attended a workshop by Dr. Tim Lautzenheiser. I have seen Dr. Tim present many times, both as a student and as a professional, and each time I learn something new. Becoming a leader in band became the foundation for my success as an educator.

Mr. Parker also asked us to make goals each semester. We made individual goals and he allowed for open dialogue for us to make group goals for the band. We posted our goals in the back of the band room and the group goals were in the front of the band room. He referred to them often making us reflect on our actions and evaluate our path to reaching those goals. They weren't HIS goals, they were OUR goals. He held us accountable and didn't let us slack off. He didn't want us to waste our potential. I continued to set goals for myself throughout college and even today I'm always looking for ways to improve my teaching.

There was a poster on the wall in the band room which read, "Never settle for less than your best."

I often think of this poster, and of Mr. Parker, when I feel like I'm in a rut and not giving my job 110%. Thank you, Mr. Parker, for helping me develop a great work ethic! Thank you for helping me discover my passion for music! Thank you for believing in me, even when I didn't. Today, I am providing for my family while doing a job that I truly love and I owe it all to you. Thank you for opening that first door and showing me a path to begin my journey as a music educator!  

Thank you for reading! Don't forget to comment below sharing your most influential music teacher!
Each blog will be answering different questions. If you would like to learn more about me, check out the comments on their posts. My username is "miredo".

Now, go visit Mrs. Tanenblatt for the next stop on the blog hop!



  1. So cool to hear about your music teachers- thank you for sharing! I think my most influential music teacher was my first piano teacher. I started with her when I was 7 and continued until I was 14. I must have tried to quit at least 6 times but she was very patient and knew that the most important thing was for me to continue exploring music- she told me that I didn't need to practice between lessons, and I could just show up at my lesson each week and we could practice together. Piano ended up being my primary instrument in college and, of course, I'm a music teacher now! She died of cancer when I was in high school and it was very difficult to lose her, but I will never forget what she did for me.

  2. I find it nearly impossible to choose my most influential music teacher. They all shaped me, by teaching me both what to do, and what not to do. However, I can say with certainty that my high school choir director was the first teacher to make me feel confident in my abilities. In college, my most influential teacher was my clarinet professor. He never underestimated my potential. He always knew when I wasn't giving my all and would call me out on it. I respected him for that.

  3. My most influential music teacher came late in life. I took some private lessons from someone who inspired me to be the best I could be too--she wanted me to be a songwriter and took me to an LA songwriting showcase. It was wonderful to finally have someone believe in me too.

  4. My most influential teacher was Dr. Beth Bolton. She challenged me in my thinking, my educational practice, my writing (which was painful) and my musicianship. I just adore her and even though I don't get to see her as often, I continue to have the utmost love and respect for her!

  5. It is so hard to pick just one teacher! I was blessed to have just the right influential teacher at each stage of my life to bring me to where I am today. Dr. Wendy Valerio was the teacher who most challenged my musicianship, opening my eyes new possibilities. Under her guidance, I discovered what had been missing in my own previous music education and I now strive daily to improve my own skills so I can give my students the richest experiences in music.

  6. My most influential music teacher was Louise O'Hanlon. She was my elementary music teacher and laid an amazing groundwork for my musical understanding with a rich choral and general music program that included solfege, orff instruments, listening, improvisation, singing games... everything!

    Then, when I reached High School, the high school choral director retired and Louise took the position. It was amazing to have my public school music education come full circle and get to learn from such a talented role model once more.

  7. Hands down, my most influential music teacher was my middle school band director. He was my inspiration to pursue music. Different from others, he was business when he needed to be, but fun and kooky too. As students, we laughed so much and had a great time learning our instruments.

  8. I talked about my elementary music teacher in my blog post - She was a lot of fun but I also really looked up to my intermediate school Choir Director. Her name was Mrs. Miles. I was lucky enough to get to be in the 8th grade or Concert choir in 7th grade. We had fun together and while at times it was a little scary- we had to sing off our parts for Mrs. Miles before concerts - I always enjoyed being in her room and looked up to her.

  9. The music teacher who had the greatest influence on me was my high school choral director, Dr. Reuben Rodeheaver. I started clarinet in 4th grade and continued through high school. Dr. Rodeheaver became the choral director in my sophomore year and asked me to be the chorus accompanist. I never felt confident as a vocalist but one of my fondest memories was performing in a production of "Life". We used a pre-recorded accompaniment for this musical so I was able to sing in the chorus. One of the other highlights of my high school music career was accompanying our production of Fiddler on the Roof. Great memories!!

  10. My most influential music teacher was my JHS band teacher, Mrs. Gilmore. She was AMAZING. She took over the band program from this awful teacher and turned it around and she was the best!

  11. The teachers I remember most is my 5th grade teacher and my high school music teacher. My 5th grade teacher I just really connected with for some reason. The memories are mostly full of good feelings. And then music of course was a big part of my life and my HS music teacher stretched me to come out of my box a little more than I would have. I was SO shy! At the time, I wasn't too happy about some of the things she would make me do, but now I'm glad she did. ;)

  12. My most influential teacher was Wally. I loved my college professors, and REALLY look up to them, but Wally was my first band teacher and he was a character! I wrote a blog on him a few months ago, because I could go on and on...and did. LOL

  13. My most influential music teacher and one who really inspired me to be involved in music was my middle school teacher, Mr. Baird. He was a older gentleman who had a passion for all things music and who demanded our best. Through him, I got involved in both band and choral music. It was through my choral music experience, however, that really inspired me to focus my talents and passion in music.

    My Musical Menagerie: Kodaly and Orff Classroom

  14. My high school choir teacher was my most influential music teacher as far as pursuing music education. However, I'm currently working on my masters in music ed, and I think 2 of my professors, Dr. Cooper and Dr. Draves, are my most influential music teachers as I develop this craft of teaching! They have gotten me to think so much more deeply about everything music education related.