Alyssa Plumb’s first day as a teacher is one she will never forget.
One day, Plumb’s mentor Rhona Brink, who she was assisting at the time, called in sick and left Plumb alone and responsible for a sea of children. However, the growing panic and bubbling anxiety faded following Brink’s reassurance.
“You’ve got this. You’re ready.”
Though it was a little scary for Plumb to jump in the deep end of teaching, those five comforting words instilled confidence in her and marked the start of a successful career in music education.
Today, Moores School of Music alumna Plumb (M.M. ’09) leads the Roosevelt Alexander Elementary School choir. The choir, known as the SingRAEs, doesn’t hold auditions. Instead, all students are welcomed and given the opportunity to hone their craft.
The SingRAE Choir is one of four choirs chosen out the entire state of Texas to perform at the 2018 Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) Convention. Dedicated to fostering universal appreciation of music, TMEA hosts events for music educators and children, encouraging them to form or strengthen their bond with music.
Plumb was thrilled to receive the invitation.
“I felt like I made state all over again, but as a teacher,” she says.
Growing up in Longview, Texas, Plumb’s love for music inspired her to join her school’s marching band. There, she learned how to play the French horn and this decision led her to the University of Houston.
During her time at the University of Houston, Plumb took Kodály level courses. Through a comprehensive approach, the program shows teachers ways in which they can further their student’s musical education.
“The training I received in that program was really high quality and helped me grow as a well-rounded musician,” Plumb says.
Now, as a teacher, she shares her love and passion for music with young developing minds. Plumb acts as a pathway to a life built on a love of music.
“The look on their face, when they finally get that light bulb moment and you can tell they’re enjoying it, is what I live for. Those moments really make teaching worthwhile,” Plumb says.
The SingRAE Choir will be performing six pieces at the TMEA Convention. Two of the songs will have instrumental accompaniment with a couple of drums, xylophones and small percussion instruments. They will all include singing, making for a balanced concert.
Plumb hopes her students learn the value of hard work and perseverance at the TMEA Convention, one they will keep in mind as they perform in front of their families and as they continue their music education.
“They’ll see that it was worth all the early morning rehearsals and extra practice,” Plumb says. “I hope they learn that if something is really important it’s worth the difficulty.”