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Interview with Phil Wilson, January 24, 2014

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:17 - Early days in the career

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Partial Transcript: I’d like to start by asking you: when and why did you become a music teacher?

Segment Synopsis: Wilson describes his journey to becoming a music teacher. He talks about his peculiar first day of having hardly any students to teach. He talks about the large amount of preparation required for creating lesson plans.

Keywords: Auburn, Alabama; Ogletree Elementary School; choir directors; church choirs; high school; high school band directors; lesson plans; music education; music specialists; part-singing; south Georgia; vocal techniques

00:04:57 - Teacher training / reasons teachers leave

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Partial Transcript: Looking back, what advice would you give yourself as a first year teacher?

Segment Synopsis: Wilson describes how he would have benefited from being less uptight and more relaxed during his first year of teaching. He talks about both the helpfulness of his elementary teacher training as well as its weakness in covering discipline. He talks about the lack of proper salary and support that causes some teachers to leave.

Keywords: Auburn University; B.M.; Bachelor of Music Education; M.Ed.; Master of Music Education; Troy University; administration; classroom management; discipline; elementary school; high school; high school band director; teacher salaries

00:09:44 - Highs and lows of teaching music

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about a time when you felt proud to be a music teacher.

Segment Synopsis: Wilson talks about the pride he felt when he realized he has just as much to learn from students as they learn from him. He talks about the difficulties of having limited time to teach a large number of students as well as dealing with unsupportive administrators. He describes how rewarding it feels to have students share their enthusiasm with their parents, who in turn offer their appreciation for what he does. He talks about embracing humor in the classroom because it keeps the students engaged.

Keywords: Black History Month; administration; elementary school; music education; schedules

00:16:14 - Finding passion for music / motivating students

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Partial Transcript: Have you ever thought about changing your career?

Segment Synopsis: Wilson talks about his interest in working as a school administrator. He talks about his fun teaching style as well as the impact his high school band director had on his passion for music and teaching. He talks about using humor and one-on-one attention to motivate his students.

Keywords: administration; drum major; elementary school; high school band director; music education; percussion; summer camp

00:20:57 - Professional development / mentorship

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Partial Transcript: What do you think you need most for your own professional growth?

Segment Synopsis: Wilson describes how useful it is to participate in music-specific professional development. He talks about encouraging student teachers to embrace their own unique teaching style. He talks about learning to maximize each student’s natural talent rather than forcing them into a role that doesn’t fit.

Keywords: conferences; elementary school; guitar; interns; music education; student teaching; trial and error