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Interview with Laura Montanari, October, 29, 2019

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:38 - Demographic

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Partial Transcript: It's a small school. The middle school has 260 to 270 kids. It's an urban area. I would say it's working class.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari describes the demographic of the schools in which she has taught.

Keywords: Charter School; Middle School; Public School; Queens, NY

00:01:51 - Teacher Origin

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Partial Transcript: Because the music teacher profession picked me.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari describes how despite the fact that she was not exposed to music during her grade school days, she discovered that she had a gift for music.She also describes how well she was prepared through schooling and how her supervisors helped to get through difficult moments.

Keywords: African American music; Italy; classical music; first day teaching; green card; jazz; professional musician

00:09:36 - Teacher Training

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Partial Transcript: With some of my teachers it was totally the opposite. Teachers would make me hate my instrument.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari describes how some of her instruction from teachers hurt her while others strengthened her. She also talks about how a new teacher should give themselves time to develop their craft and describes how well her teacher training prepared her.

00:13:20 - Why Stay in Teaching

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Partial Transcript: I've had crisis like everybody and I've thought it but never seriously. Just when I've been so frustrated with things.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari shares how connecting with music has always been a dream of hers nd how her community's encouragement keeps her grounded..She also explains how difficult it is to learn patience especially since each new generation that comes along brings new challenges.

00:17:46 - Proud Moment

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Partial Transcript: There would be times that when my ‘already professional musicians’ because even they’re so young I can see that they can are clearly become professional musicians when they got admitted to performing arts high schools....

Segment Synopsis: Montanari describes how it feels to have students become successful in their music careers on different levels. She also shares moments when her students compliment her teaching.

00:19:32 - Challenging Moments

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Partial Transcript: When students don't follow directions.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari briefly describes how frustrating it can be to have students that don't follow directions.

00:20:39 - Hope for Teaching

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Partial Transcript: It depends on how music is presented to students, even communities.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari explains how music can have an impact on the community if presented in the right way. She also discusses how she finds joy in connecting the current dance moves with moves to the past in which her students find amusement.

Keywords: funniest moments; social justice movements

00:24:12 - Career Change

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Partial Transcript: Not changing 180 degrees but I studied my doctorate program last year.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari discusses the love she has for learning and how she can see herself teaching older students in the future.

00:26:01 - Mentor

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Partial Transcript: Upbeat. Always surprising.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari describes the spontaneity of her class as she keeps her students from getting bored while giving them secure space to grow. She also goes on to explain that she learned her style fof teaching rom her dance teacher as she motivates students.

Keywords: best mentor; body shame; motivating students; peer teaching

00:33:58 - Mentoring Others

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Partial Transcript: Montanari shares how she would like to activate her creative side by creating more of her own music.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari discusses how practicing her arts professionally allows her to share even more experience with her students. She also describes how she finds it difficult to mentor unless she is asked a specific question.

Keywords: music videos; singer; songwriter

00:36:41 - A Student's Story

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Partial Transcript: There is one kid that just went to high school and he is a killer guitartist.

Segment Synopsis: Montanari explains how she has found a familiarity with the way a student works so hard at developing his talent but tends to talk down on himself. She also shares a funny moment from class.