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Kevin Liotta-DeVivo and Rachel Murphy are music teachers at Pizzo Elementary/Patel Lower Campus.
“I love being here. Every day I get to see the kids having fun and playing the different instruments,” said Kevin Liotta-DeVivo, music teacher at Pizzo Elementary. “That’s just the greatest thing.”
“Not only do I love music, but music was the thing that kept me wanting to go to school every day,” said Rachel Murphy, music teacher at Pizzo Elementary. “Music class was the place where I felt most needed and cared about, and I want to give that feeling to our students as well.”
Both Liotta-DeVivo and Murphy agree that during music class, students are given a freedom of expression, which translates to success outside of the classroom as well.
“This is a time when the students can really express themselves and break out of their desks and the structure in their other classrooms and be in our huge room with all the things they can have fun with,” explained Liotta-DeVivo.
“Music class is the part of the day where some students can feel the most successful, and you can see that on their faces,” Murphy said.
“It teaches them concentration and it helps them succeed in their other classes, like math and English,” said Liotta-DeVivo. “We read music and add notes together. I want them to see that things we’re doing in here, applies to all their learning. It’s cool to see them grow from little people into adults.”
Both teachers believe that fostering strong relationships with students, as well as their parents, helps build bonds in the classroom, throughout the school and in the community.
“I love our community here – the teachers, the parents, the kids. When I’m walking through the cafeteria in the morning I have so many kids saying “Hi, Mr. DeVivo!” said Liotta-DeVivo. “We really connect with our kids and their parents too.”
“Sometimes in passing you’ll get a hug, or you give them a compliment here or there, and you can see that you are setting a good example for them,” said Murphy. “It’s rewarding all of the good you see, and that will help to develop a better relationship with them.”
At the end of the day for these teachers, sharing their love of music with their students is their biggest reward.
“I love being here,” said Liotta-DeVivo. “Being able to come into work every day and playing music and having fun with the kids – I know I am making a difference.”
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