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Faculty Spotlight: Kelsey Lewis, Middle and Upper School Music and Theater Director

Faculty Spotlight: Kelsey Lewis, Middle and Upper School Music and Theater Director

Tell us about your role

My primary role is teaching music in the Middle and Upper Schools. In the Upper school, I direct the Tartantones and Vox Unum choirs and music direct the Winter Musical. (This year, we are doing Mamma Mia!) I also teach trimester electives like Music Theory, Music Technology, and Pop Culture. In the Middle School, I teach trimester general music classes, grade level choirs, our after school choir Stuart Voices, and co-direct the 8th grade musical.

As a music educator, my main goal is for each student to reach their fullest potential of musical excellence within our ensembles and performance experiences. As a Sacred Heart educator, my main goal is to foster spaces for students to feel safe and empowered to be their authentic, creative selves.

What do you enjoy the most about your work?

There are many things, but definitely my daily interactions with students. They bring so much joy to my classroom.

Who/what had the greatest influence on your career path?

I've had many great influences along my path, but one of my college professors, Dr. Joe Miller, had a profound influence on my discovery of personal artistic philosophies, my conducting techniques, and my process of interpreting music.

What is your best piece of advice?

There's an age old saying that "practice makes perfect," but I prefer "practice makes permanent." Whether you are practicing an instrument, an athletic skill, or self-care, always do it with intention so you reinforce good habits!

Tell us about your research interests and/or recent professional development.

I am currently an Action Research Fellow with the International Coalition of Girls Schools (ICGS) Global Action Research Collaborative. The organization is focused on building a network of girls' schools educators undertaking research on girls' education. My current research project involves how music teachers can fuse social-emotional learning with music education in specific and intentional ways.

The Fun Stuff:

Favorite Food: Aged cheeses and olives; preferably enjoyed over conversation with friends!

Favorite Song:   It's hard to have just one! Some of my favorite popular music artists of today (in no particular order) include Esperanza Spalding, James Blake, The Punch Brothers, Janelle Monáe, Brandi Carlile, and Kendrick Lamar. One of my favorite classical pieces is Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini, and my favorite classical composer is Francis Poulenc.

Favorite Hobby or Little Known Talent: My favorite hobby by far is traveling. Over the summers, I love road trips and national parks!