Christine Vallone - Music Teacher
I grew up in Bedford, New Hampshire, and started taking piano lessons when I was 7 years old. I can remember the happiness I would feel when my teacher gave me new music, and I would literally run home after my lessons to practice. I knew that I wanted to be a teacher by the time I was in high school, but actually entered Colby College in Maine as an English major. For the first time in 11 years, I had no easy access to a piano, and missed it terribly, which is why I transferred to Notre Dame College in Manchester (Colby College did not offer education certification). I graduated in 1978 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education, started teaching music at Epping Elementary School that September, and taught for 2 1/2 years. When I had my two sons, I remained at home during the day, and taught piano lessons, accompanied recitals and theater productions at night, and continued conducting and accompanying the church choir at St. Joseph Church in Epping which I started in 1980. When my sons started school, I went back to UNH and took courses necessary to receive my Masters degree in Music History. At the same time, I began teaching piano at the Manchester Community Music School, and then Phillips Exeter Academy. In 2001, I began teaching music to kindergarten through fifth grade here at KES. In addition to classroom teaching, I give before and after-school instrumental lessons in flute, clarinet, saxophone, and trumpet. I can honestly say I love my job here at KES - the staff, students, and parents are wonderful. I believe that I am doing what I was meant to do!
My philosophy of music education has been influenced by, among others, the beliefs of composer/educator Zoltan Kodaly, and also my own enjoyment of music. Kodaly believed that music students should be taught to "see what they hear, and hear what they see" and I try to incorporate alot of actual hands-on sight-reading and music-playing/singing into each lesson. I try as much as possible, to teach the elements of music while having fun - the children enjoy singing games, movement (eurhythmics), and use of the Orff instruments. On the most basic level, I want to allow students to become proficient enough at reading notes and singing that they develop a lifelong enjoyment of and appreciation for music. As Plato said, "Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."