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The Student News Site of The Kinkaid School

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Choir teacher discusses DEI, music, teaching with students at alma mater

Mr.+Charles+Harrison+%28bottom+right%29+poses+with+students+at+Prairie+View+A%26M+after+his+talk+on+April+25.
Charles Harrison
Mr. Charles Harrison (bottom right) poses with students at Prairie View A&M after his talk on April 25.

After studying voice and piano at Prairie View A&M University, Upper School choir teacher Mr. Charles Harrison was asked to speak to the senior music students at a seminar on April 25.

During his time at Prairie View, Harrison was heavily influenced by his piano professor Mr. Danny Kelly, who is currently serving as dean of the university’s  College of Arts and Sciences.

 “Danny Kelly has been a great mentor for me for all these years, and is the one who invited me back to speak to the students,” Mr. Harrison said.

Mr. Harrison shared his insights on entering the workforce out of college and hopes to encourage a few students to become music educators. 

“Many of the students want to be performers, and do not want to be teachers,” Mr. Harrison said.

Despite these wishes of many music students, the performing arts field, Mr. Harrison explained, is a rigorous and luck-based industry, resulting in the importance of having something to lean back on.

“It’s great to have music education as a backup plan if  you don’t get picked up to tour with someone famous like Taylor Swift or Beyonce,” Harrison said. “There is much gratification in teaching students as well as performing, and that is something I want to show the students.” 

Mr. Harrison also told students about the influence of new diversity, equity and inclusion policies.

“The students have been learning about DEI all year, and I’m excited to teach them about that because it is an important aspect of my job,” he said.

Mr. Harrison’s experience of working with a variety of students and schools was another element mentioned in his lecture.

“I’ve got experience teaching in public and independent schools to broaden their horizons to those areas,” Mr. Harrison said.

A main point Mr. Harrison hoped to get across to the students is the impact of educating others and how gratifying that can be.

“Most of the time we become educators because someone took the time to invest in us, and I hope the students feel how amazing it is to see someone you taught flourish,” Mr. Harrison said.

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Zoe An, Staff Writer

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