Name: Alison Bowen
Years in education: 34 years, with 31 of those in Tuscola
Subject/Grade assignment this school year: Band/5-12, Music/5
What was your favorite subject in school? Math—at least until I joined band in fifth grade!
What is your favorite weekend activity? I enjoy spending time with friends and family members, many of whom I don’t encounter in the course of a normal work week. (The activity itself is seldom as important as the company.)
What is your favorite book? For guidance, comfort, or encouragement, the Bible can’t be beat. Giant in the Shadows: The Life of Robert T. Lincoln is a more recent publication that captured my attention, both because of my typical Illinoisan’s interest in Abraham Lincoln and because of a visit to Hildene, the Robert T. Lincoln family home in Vermont. This book revealed countless details about the younger Lincoln’s life–including his professional accomplishments, his responsibility for preserving and protecting his father’s legacy, and the repeated pressure placed upon him to run for the U.S. presidency—with which I was unaware.
What are you most looking forward to in your curriculum this month? Without sounding too cryptic, I hope that we find ourselves with a necessity to “cram” a lot of additional pep band music into our high school band rehearsals.
What are your students learning this week? Band students are learning music for our
February 24 Music Boosters Fundraiser Concert, which will also include performances by Tuscola Choir students, under the direction of Mrs. Craddock. (Our theme this year is “An American Salute,” so the concert will feature a wide variety of American music, both patriotic and otherwise.)
What is your greatest motivator as a teacher? Between East Prairie and TCHS, the bands average about 30 performances each year, spanning from the first Warrior home football game to high school graduation, so preparing students for upcoming performances is always on my mind. I am also motivated by the realization that, although we musicians will never attain perfection, we can always make improvement; there’s so much more to making “music” than just playing the correct notes and rhythms!