OK, Alex Losee isn’t a Vampire but from what I hear, she’s just as cool as one. Alex is a Music School teacher at Dream Lake Elementary in Apopka, FL. I was gathered with friends and family recently when I heard some magic words… “My kids’ music teacher is the coolest!”
Being a private piano teacher, statements like this always get me excited because I love to hear about music classes in elementary schools. So after a little digging I was able to get in touch with Alex (thank you Nicole Briggle for the help) and was able to interview her to find out what makes her tick! Here’s what I learned:
Q. What’s the best thing about being a music teacher in an elementary school?
A. I get to share exciting music with my students. Because music is so special to me, my excitement makes an impact on my students’ lives. When I hear from my parents that their children are going home wanting to learn more about what we’re going over in class, I know the kids are interested! I get to mix in music from today with great music from the past. Using technology in the class is also big to me.
Alex also loves helping students during standardized testing by having “Dance Parties” during these times of the year. “The kids need to relax their minds during test time and I know music and fun can do that” says Alex.
Q. When did you decide to become a music teacher?
A. While I was studying opera in college I realized that although I loved the music, I didn’t want that life style for myself. I had taught private music lessons in the past and liked it, I knew then, I wanted to do more teaching. When I made the decision to teach fully, I put all my force and attention into teaching and making music with “little people”.
Q. Can you tell me about a special music teacher from your past?
A. I had a great middle school music teacher, Ms Barbra Nelson in Penolis County. She was full of energy and what I loved the most was she didn’t speak to us like we were 11 or 12, but spoke to us like we were people. I’ll never forget that and always loved the way it made me feel. She also taught me that music was fun and silly, she believed in Humor.
Q. What’s the most challenging part of being an elementary school music teacher?
Seeing the students just once a week. We have a lot of lessons and just a limited time to get them all in. Also class size as it relates to having enough of the correct instruments for each student.
Q. What do your students enjoy most from music classes and lessons?
A. Kids really love Broadway musicals. I try to incorporate them into a lot of lessons. They also love playing drums, xylophones and all sorts of percussion. Music lessons with movement are also a big hit. We play a game called “statues” and also lots of games with rhythm sticks. My 3rd and 4th grades learn recorders and that’s a blast too!
Q. Do you have a favorite lesson/concept to teach?
I love teaching Rhythm and I think my students are great at it and actually exceed the state standards in that area. I also pride myself in introducing music jobs to my students and not just the obvious ones. It’s great to let them know about stage managers, sound engineers, and other jobs in music jobs in the arts that no one thinks about.
Be A Good Human
Alex concluded the interview with letting me know that the most important thing she teaches is “being a good human”. She let me know that music is so much more then just music, and the expression that comes out of kids also helps provide lessons on how to be great people.
In addition to teaching during the day at Dream Lake Elementary, she also runs an after school club called Melody Makers, an after school choir. If you feel so inclined please post the name of your favorite music teach in the comments section below.