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Interview with Holly Seales, January 24, 2014

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:14 - Early days as a teacher

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Partial Transcript: First I'd like to ask you: when and why did you become a music teacher?

Segment Synopsis: Seales describes her journey to becoming a music teacher as well as her overwhelming first day at a small, rural school. She talks about how useful it would have been to have a mentor during her first year. She talks about the lack of training and professional development offered for music teachers compared to other subjects.

Keywords: AMEA; B.M.; Bachelor in Music Education; Dothan, Alabama; Florida; K-5; M.Ed.; Master of Music Education; Orff ensemble; Rehobeth Elementary School; Troy State University; assessment; band director; church choir; classroom management; flute; general music; high school band; homeroom; mentorship; music specialist; musical theatre; piano lessons; private lessons; professional development; rural school; school choir; teacher training

00:08:00 - Rewards and challenges

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Partial Transcript: And you’ve been teaching twelve years, is that right? And why have you stayed with teaching?

Segment Synopsis: Seales talks about why she’s drawn to teaching music and not other subjects. She talks about the reasons teachers leave the profession, including issues with students and their parents. She talks about the pride she feels when her choir students perform at community events. She describes the challenges of dealing with administrators and students who don’t have an interest in music.

Keywords: administration; burnout; choir; classroom management; fundraiser concerts; lesson plans; politics; talent show

00:15:30 - The comfort of music class / motivating students

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

Segment Synopsis: Seales describes how her music class offers the students a much-needed break from an otherwise rigid schedule. She talks about striving to make her class a comfortable experience like it was for her in elementary school. She talks about motivating students by emphasizing pride in accomplishment rather than treats.

Keywords: assessment; candy; elementary school; high school; music education; private lessons; protected time; recorder

00:21:45 - Professional development / learning from peers and students

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

Segment Synopsis: Seales talks about the intriguing potential of technological advances in the music classroom. She talks about mentoring new teachers as well as the mentorship that occurs between all of the music teachers in her area. She talks about learning new approaches to teaching by helping a physically impaired student adapt to his instrument.

Keywords: apps; classroom management; conferences; iPads; interns; mentorship; physical impairments; physically impaired; professional development; technology; workshops