PIQUA — “Trumpets, don’t jerk your mouthpiece out,” said Rachel Owen, band teacher at Piqua Catholic. “Every time your mouthpiece hits the floor, it affects the tuning.”
Owen was advising her fifth and sixth grade band students the proper ways to handle their instruments on Friday, for it is the first time some of them are playing an instrument this school year. Owen teaches grades K-8 music and 5-8 band at Piqua Catholic. She is also the school librarian.
Owen knew she always wanted to work with children, but it was her band director from high school that helped her to merge the idea of teaching children with her other zeal; music.
“I knew that I wanted to work with children and teach them and inspire them the way I’ve been inspired by music,” Owen said.
Owen played the flute in high school and in college. She graduated from Murray State University in Murray, Ky., in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in music education for K-12. Owen started her career at Hendron – Lone Oak School in Paducah, Ky., in fall 2013 as a kindergarten instructional assistant. Although she was not teaching music full-time, she gave piano and flute lessons on the side.
But she is now living her dream job at Piqua Catholic.
“I absolutely love every single day,” Owen said. “It’s still surreal that I have this teaching job and have been looking for this job.” Owen was hired into the district within two weeks of applying this year.
Currently, her students are learning to read treble and bass clef notes in her music classes and her band students are learning how to create good sound, tone, and learning new notes with their instruments.
“I love seeing the kids learn and helping them to become better musicians, because music is like another language,” Owen said. “I like teaching them how to be well-rounded people. And they always put a smile on my face, every day.”
Owen is looking forward to the Christmas concert coming in December with her students as well as her junior high students performing a musical in spring 2016. In her spare time, Owen enjoys playing guitar, reading, and traveling.
Owen hopes her students love music as much as she always has since a young age.
“I hope the kids enjoy music as much as I do,” she said, “And (I want to) show them how to become better musicians and apply music to their own lives.”
Perhaps one day, one of her students will ask her for advice on pursuing a teaching career in music, keeping the inspiration flowing for generations to come.
Reach Amy Barger at (937) 451-3340 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.