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December Music Teacher Interview

Posted by costastaffmusic@gmail.com on December 7, 2020 at 8:50 PM

Meet NATASHA!

1. How long have you been teaching music?

Natasha: I have been teaching music in various forms for the past 10 years. I started off teaching private piano, moved on to church choirs, private voice and now I teach 400 kids in grades PreK to 8 at a catholic school!

2. What inspired you to teach music?

Natasha: Music has been the air around me since I started breathing. From my first piano teacher at age 4 to my college professors I have always been inspired to share my knowledge that they have passed on to me. I get such joy in sharing and instructing people of every age. From my youngest 3 year old student to my 88 year old choir member, there is no better joy than seeing their progress and achievements in music.

3. What is your favorite instrument?

Natasha: My favorite instrument I think is the voice. Even though I have always been a pianist, it is so challenging to learn about an instrument that is literally completely different within every human being. It is also crazy because you can’t even see it! It is such a vague and ever changing process to learn to sing. It keeps me on my toes!

4. Any musical tips for teachers?

Natasha: Patience. Find joy in small triumphs. Sure, have an end goal, but realize that your end goal will forever turn into a new one. Watching students grow as people who enjoy music is honestly the simplest and greatest success!

5. Any advice for parents?

Natasha: Encourage! Be gentle and don’t put pressure on your child. Not every kid is supposed to be the next Mozart. Make a schedule for your child, have structure and discipline. And of course - have patience! Also never become frustrated - just call your teacher and ask for help! We are here for you!

6. Talk about a memorable teaching experience.

Natasha: Ah, so many. Well definitely I think I have to mention the time we all taught during coronavirus. I’m doing this interview in advance - currently in quarantine - and don’t know what the state of our country will be like when this interview is out - I hope its back to normal! But right now - I guess you can call this “memorable”. Although it seems like a negative time - I have never bonded so much with my students and choir members. We have our virtual choir projects and I have truly heard every individual voice like never before. We have missed each other harder than ever and cared for each other so much more. The amount of love and support going around right now for teachers and students is honestly overwhelming. It is a super hard time but I am trying to enjoy distance teaching as much as possible and just trying to think of it as a new way of learning!

7. What methods or music books do you use to teach?

Natasha: I love the Little Mozarts by Alfred series for my younger students - whether they are learning piano or learning cute songs to sing. For school and church I mostly use hymnals by OCP like Spirit and Song and Breaking Bread. Lots of fun liturgical music that gets people hyped up to worship!

8. Why is music so important to you?

Natasha: Music is so important to me because without it I feel so empty! It is my work but it is also my playtime! I get to make my living while having fun! Who couldn’t ask for a better job! When your job is your passion it just give you a completely different perspective on life.

9. Who was your favorite music teacher and why?

Natasha: What a good question! My first piano teacher ever - Grisel Carrasco is my biggest fan. She has known me for over 25 years and has supported me through every single musical endeavor I have ever had. I love her so much.

10. What was your favorite piece/song to teach and why?

Natasha: I have to pick one! I’m going to pick two - one from each realm of my teaching life right now. Liturgically - Can You See God by Chris de Silva. It is three soloists singing over SATB choir with some beautiful lyrics and the word painting is just to die for. Truly wonderfully written song. For my students and littles I will have to choose our Hello Song from the Little Mozarts Book 1! It has some movement which helps everyone get their wiggles out!

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Photo by Aldo Antonio Photography from Wyckoff, NJ

 


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