We’re happy to announce the 2013-2014
Co-Teachers of the Year:
Voice Instructor Ashlee Poole
and Drum Instructor Evan Simmons.
The reason we have “co-teachers” is that the votes were so close it was a tie!
At the Columbia Arts Academy & Lexington School of Music we think all of our teachers are great. But each year, some teachers really go over the top and it’s evident in their work that they’re giving it their all.
So enjoy part two of this interview with Evan and Ashlee:
Q. Your students always put on great recital performances. What do you do to get your students ready to succeed on stage?
Ashlee: The first step to having great recital performances is choosing the right piece of music. The student should enjoy their piece, it should fit their vocal abilities, and it should contain something that the student can learn and never forget. The second step to having great performances is the preparation of the piece. This requires both myself, as the teacher, and my students to work together. I will provide students with all of the information they need to successfully perform this piece during lessons, it’s what the students do with this information that will determine its outcome for performance. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect!
Evan: The main goal for me is to try to prevent any surprises onstage. I make sure the students understand that playing onstage is an entirely different (and more exciting!) experience than playing in the classroom. In the weeks leading up to the recital, we’ll rehearse everything about the recital, from the moment they walk out onstage until they’ve sat down afterwards. If the logistics and preparation are there, we can just relax and have fun while we’re playing at the recital.
Q. In addition to being a great teacher, you’re also in a great local band. What is the name of your band and what kind of music do you play?
Ashlee: I am currently involved with a lot of choral music as a graduate student of choral studies at USC. I am a member of the Graduate Vocal Ensemble and a Graduate Assistant for the University Chorus.
Evan: I’m in a few local bands, including Magnetic Flowers, People Person & Happiness Bomb. The styles are all in the rock n roll family, but range from indie-folk to punk to sludge metal to whatever goofy idea a band member has in rehearsal. The main thing for me is to try stay diverse enjoy the collaborations.
Q. If you could give one piece of advice to any teacher who wants to be the 2014-2015 teacher of the year, what would it be?
Ashlee: My one piece of advice to any teacher who wants to be teacher of the year in 2014-2015 would be to provide your students with what they need and what they want.
Evan: Be aware of what’s going on! Be aware of new advancements in technology and music that your students will know about, even if you don’t. Also, be aware of how your students and their families are responding to lessons! If something isn’t going as well as it could, it’s your job to make it work. Also (maybe most importantly) be aware that you’re a very lucky person! You’re getting paid to share the joy and excitement of music with people! If you lose sight of your love for the experience, it’s awfully hard to do it the way it should be done.