The Love of Music – Jennifer Chambers

Jennifer Chambers. Photo by Margaret Finley.

Jennifer Chambers. Photo by Margaret Finley.

Music is an incredible thing. It can change your mood in a matter of minutes and the emotion you feel from it is so different from anything else. My interest in music made me want to interview Jennifer Chambers about her experience teaching music at Hanover High.

Chambers believes music is “essential, it builds community and fosters empathy.”

However, teaching was not always the career path Chambers planned to take. When she was younger, her dream was to be an opera singer, or to be on Broadway, but half way through graduate school she changed her major. Chambers attitude towards teaching is that there are so many teachers out there that expect you to be the best of the best, but music is for fun. At Hanover, anybody who wants to join chorus can do so, so there are many different levels of music knowledge  in chorus.

Chambers says, “I want to be a positive influence on kids lives.” She wants to help kids have an appreciation for music and have fun doing it.

Chambers talked about the schools she had previously worked at and said that when she was going in there it was to repair the music department. When she came to Hanover, the music department was already at such a high performing level, she could just continue with the work from the previous chorus director. I asked Chambers what it is like teaching such a diverse group of kids, “Fun! Keeps me on my toes”.

Being a music teacher has its perks, but it can also be tough. When it comes down to picking kids for solos, “it’s hard, it’s sad when kids get sad.” She said that sometimes the choice is “cut and dry,” but it’s always hard to choose one kid over another, still  you have to move on.

Finally I asked her about the types of music she chooses for her class to sing.

“I choose a variety,” she replied. Chambers wants the kids to be able to connect with the world and its emotions when singing these songs. In the fall her classes work on a medley that rotates every four years; this fall we worked on the “Les Miserables”

medley. In the winter we work on a classical piece, and in the spring we sing a medley that the class chooses.

It is never too late to start learning about music and finding that appreciation, Chambers says, “You should always keep your options open and always look for new opportunities to expand your knowledge.”

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