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Music in Schools Initiative

Teaching Artist of the Week: Isabel Lepanto Gleicher '14 MM

Not all teaching artists can say that they have experienced both sides of the student/teaching artist relationship. But Isabel Lepanto Gleicher ’14 MM says it’s the reason she plays flute today: “My very first private teacher was a teaching artist. That’s how I started the flute. She played flute professionally, and I wanted to play the flute. So my parents approached her, and she became my private teacher.”

TA_Izzy Gleicher

Isabel now teaches over a dozen students in private and group lessons at Mauro-Sheridan School and Co-Op High School throughout the week, as well as leading flute instruction for the All-City Honors Band on Saturdays. This past summer, she had her first experience teaching young students in the Morse Summer Music Academy: “Before, I’d only ever really taught private lessons to high school students or older. But at Morse, from the very first day I was surrounded by almost a hundred kids, and many of them were my responsibility in different ways. So it was challenging in the sense that my learning curve had to be really steep. By week two I was completely comfortable in doing everything that I needed to do, and I felt like I had a really good relationship with the kids.”

She finds that teaching teenagers in groups can be difficult at times, but tries to build a respectful and productive group dynamic — not only among the students themselves, but also mutually between the teacher and students: “I think it’s important for the students to realize that we’re all teaching music. Yes, I have chosen to specialize in the flute, but we all can have input in what we’re trying to achieve here.”

Isabel says she is grateful for the unique experience in the Music in Schools Initiative, and believes it has had a great impact on her education and career: “I think our education is way more well-rounded as a result of this program. I don’t know any other school that I could have gone to where I would have had this opportunity. I think all of our careers are going to be filled with tons of things, and teaching is going to be a big aspect of that. I know it’s going to be a big aspect of my professional career. I didn’t go into a Music Education program, but I think that this is better than a strict Music Education program.”