My 4th Grade Music Teacher

by Alan
(Middletown, New York USA )

To find my favorite teacher, we need to go back to elementary school. I attended elementary school at Hillcrest Elementary School in Spring Valley, NY. I was a non-descript, high-achieving student as I entered the 4th grade. I got good grades but there was nothing that set me apart from other high achieving students.

But then, I decided to take up a musical instrument, the flute. In walks my favorite teacher then, and to this day. His name is Murray Wise. He is, and always has been, an elementary instrumental music teacher, and one of the best. As far as I know, he had many opportunities to move out of elementary school and into higher levels such as Junior High School, but never wanted to.

He loved working with beginning level instrument students, and he was terrific. I met him, and we just clicked. I excelled under his tutelage, gaining entry into his advanced band just a few months after starting the instrument, which was a rarity. I took off from there, going on to perform with many honor bands at the school district level, as well as local and state levels as well.

I continued on to study music in college in order to be a music teacher at the elementary level as he was. What made him my favorite is the way he was able to improve my opinion of myself. He saw a spark in me with regards to music, and was able to enhance it. He gave me a chance to excel at something, and excel I did. He showed me that although I wasn't athletic, or very socially adept, that I was special. He showed me that I could do something well, and I have carried it with me for the rest of my life.

And I have Murray Wise to thank for that. He has since retired to Florida, and there are countless students here in New York, and in Connecticut after he moved to teach there, that have him to thank for great successes, in music and in life.

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