Beginning band for a beginning teacher

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By Amy Wallot
amy.wallot@education.ky.gov

This was not the first time I have visited Auburn Elementary School. In 2013, I visited the Logan County school after it was named a National Blue Ribbon School. This time I was driving through the district and had some time to spare.

It was near the end of the school day, so I followed a few kids carrying instruments into the band room. I stumbled into 1st-year teacher Catherine Watwood’s beginning band class. But I wasn’t the only observer in her class that day. She was also being observed for her KTIP Teacher Performance Assessment. I hope I didn’t make her too nervous!

Watwood, a 2014 Western Kentucky University graduate, loves performing music and teaching others how to perform music.

“Music it is such a powerful form of expression. It is amazing being able to share that expression with students every day. I love hearing students singing songs they learned in music class after school or in the hallway,” she said.

Students at Auburn Elementary have a variety of options for music education. Students in kindergarten through 4th grade attend music class once or twice a week, with 5th-grade students attending a general music class three times a month. Fifth-grade students also can join the Beginning Band, the class I photographed. All of the elementary students can also participate in a musical performed for other students and their parents. Sixth through 8th-grade students can participate in band, a percussion class or a choir class.

“Music education is incredibly valuable and I am very fortunate to work at a school that understands its importance,” said Watwood.

First-year teacher Catherine Watwood directs the beginning band class in Fantasy on a French Folk Song as they practice for an upcoming concert at Auburn Elementary School (Logan County). Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
First-year teacher Catherine Watwood directs the beginning band class in Fantasy on a French Folk Song as they practice for an upcoming concert at Auburn Elementary School (Logan County).
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
Fifth-grade student Laren Hines laughed while waiting for class to begin at Auburn Elementary School (Logan County). Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
Baritone player Laren Hines laughs while waiting for class to begin.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
Auburn Elementary School (Logan County). Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
A student tries to hit a high note on his trumpet.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
XXXXXX makes a note on her sheet music during Catherine Watwood's beginning band class at Auburn Elementary School (Logan County). Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
A student makes a note on her sheet music.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
Karlee Canler is the first the volunteer to play a slur during beginning band class at Auburn Elementary School (Logan County). Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
Karlee Canler is the first the volunteer to play a slur, a musical notation indicating the notes it embraces are to be played without separation, during beginning band class.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
Fifth-grade student Dakota Clinard practices his tuba during Catherine Watwood's beginning band class at Auburn Elementary School (Logan County). Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015
Fifth-grade student Dakota Clinard practices his tuba.
Photo by Amy Wallot, April 20, 2015

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