The National Association for Music Education (NAfME) has designated March as Music in Our Schools Month. To celebrate, the jsquared music performance center will be sharing the stories of people who played instruments in grade school and the impact it made on their lives.
Today, we feature Timothy Hargrove. Tim is an elementary school counselor in Chesapeake, VA
What instrument do you play?
Alto/Tenor Saxophone, Flute/Piccolo
At what age did you begin to play your first instrument?
Why did you start playing?
Peer Pressure! In middle school, unlike how they do it now by paper schedules, we had the chance to choose electives by going to the class and learning more and asking questions. A few of my friends talked me into going with them to the band elective, I really didn't know what I wanted to do, so I was easily influenced.
When I got home that afternoon, I told my mom I wanted to play saxophone. Like any great mom she made the sacrifice to rent a saxophone from Music & Arts. It came with a disclaimer, "You are going to play this saxophone, through middle school, high school, college, church, solos etc!".
What was your experience with music during your elementary, middle and high school years?
I always loved music class, piano (not the best at that), singing, listening anything related. Just helped to pass time, clear my head and release stress.
In elementary school, we had music class and it wasn't until middle school that I really fell more in love with all aspects of music, the love grew deeper throughout the middle school years into my high school years.
Who was your favorite music teacher? What made them your favorite?
Although I can't name a favorite...
My high school band director, John Jenkins, definitely motivated me and encouraged me to be and do better. It was in high school where my leadership ability starting to grow more and more and I know it was because of his influence.
Moving into college the NSU Band Staff (The Dream Team) continued to shape me into a musician and leader and I really don't know who I would be without the push they gave me.
What is your favorite band memory from grade school?
I can't choose just one memory! I enjoyed marching band - games, competitions. I also enjoyed the symphonic band & orchestra, performing for crowds. However, I did enjoy our New York trip in high school to perform in memorial of 9/11.
Did you play an instrument in college? Did music impact your college choice?
I continued to play Saxophone in college. Music definitely impacted my college choice. I attended Norfolk State University - came from a family of Spartans (BEHOLD)!!! The first time I remember seeing the marching band, the Spartan "Legion", I was impressed, attended a spring band camp and fell deeper in love with the program. I was not a music major but participated in concert band, symphonic band, Saxophone Choir, Saxophone Quartet, & flute choir.
What is your current occupation?
I am an elementary school counselor in Chesapeake, VA.
How has music helped you in your current occupation?
My love for music helps me relate to my students who also have a love for music, whether playing instruments, singing in the choir or just because they love whats on the radio -- I can relate!
Sometimes when I have a student who is upset I play music and that opens their ears which tends to have the ask questions which calms them down then I can assist them in turning a bad moment of their day into a good one.
How has music played a part in your adult life?
As an adult, I volunteer with the Booker T. Washington High School (Norfolk, VA) Marching Bookers on the band staff as woodwind coordinator. I also serve as an assistant band staff member for the NSU Spartan "Legion" working with the woodwinds and recruitment team.
I have made lifelong friends because of the experiences I have had with music and being part of musical ensembles.
What advice do you have for young musicians?
WORK HARD, PLAY HARD! Learn all you can while you are young, pick up multiple instruments, study them and grow. Music is more than an elective/activity in school. It truly is an art form that can lead you places you would never imagine. Love and enjoy every musical opportunity experience you have in life!
Continue to support Music & Arts in the schools. It is important and vital to the development of students. Student need an array of avenues to express themselves! Just like academics and athletics, Music & Arts is a way for them to do just that!