May 7, 2015     Tori Cook

It’s About Time to #ThankATeacher


Thank you, music educators, for pushing to keep the arts an essential part of students' curriculum nationwide!


“I love teachers because…

…they inspire, teach and influence our future.”
– Chris Keeling

…they inspire people to grow and work to make the world a better place.
– Maggie Rodriguez

…they shape the world by educating our future generations.”
– Tori Cook

…they challenge you to see the world in new ways.
– Frieda Krantz



Name one of your music teachers and how they changed your life.

“My music teacher in high school taught me to follow my dreams and be passionate about whatever I choose to do.  He really took an interest in my musical ability and gave me a ton of confidence in pursuing my music and to become the best I could be.”

– Chris Keeling

“In college Dr. Michael Murphy took my chamber choir to Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. I had barely been out of Idaho at that point. Seeing Western classical music in the place it came from really inspired me to continue with music and gave me the travel bug. Had I not had that experience I do wonder if I would be in Boston at all.”

– Maggie Rodriguez

“Doug Ingalls was my high school English teacher and theater director, mentor and friend.  He was so dedicated to developing the arts program at our school, to this day whenever I think of the warmth and camaraderie of performances, he’s the first person to pop into my mind.”

– Frieda Krantz

“When I was in high school, I moved from Virginia across the country to Washington. I was feeling down because I hadn’t made Virginia’s ‘top chorus’ and didn’t think I could get in to the auditioned chorus in Washington either. I settled on the non-auditioned chorus so I wouldn’t have to put up with rejection again (everything’s dramatic when you’re a teenager).

But immediately, my teacher (shout out to Mr. Elliott!) took notice of my hard-work and musical ability and encouraged me to audition for the top chorus. And, you know what, I got in! Not only that, but through my high school years under his direction, I was inspired to go on to study music in college and earned my Bachelor degrees in Vocal Performance and even Music Theory (#musicnerd). And now, I direct my own chorus…whadya know.”

-Tori Cook

Thank you, Mr. Elliott for inspiring me to become a music teacher!



How do teachers change the lives of their traveling students?

They give their students the keys to the world.  Once you have traveled outside of the United States you realize how accessible it is.  It does not have to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it all starts with the first time you go overseas.”

– Chris Keeling

“With everything the media bombards us with every day, the world can seem like a huge, scary place. By giving a student the opportunity to travel in the safety of a group from home, the world somehow seems smaller and more unified. You learn that people are ultimately just people and culture is just a little spice of humanity. Travel helps encourage us to care for everyone and makes us less egocentric overall.”

– Maggie Rodriguez

“They offer the vision, the reason, the excitement, the adventure of travel. They bring culture, understanding, and history to a student through travel in a way that a student can only ever be positively affected for the rest of their lives. They offer a safe environment with friends and within the school to overcome fears of travel.”

– James Smith

The first time Mr. Ingalls took us travelling abroad to London made me realize immediately that I wanted to live overseas.  As a result of this trip, I decided to study abroad for 4 years, and live in many different countries during my adult life.”

– Frieda Krantz

Thank you, Mr. Woodbury for harping on interval training in high school band. Aural skills in college would've been kiler without that knowledge.



Is there a time you’ve seen a teacher connect with a student on tour?

“Once on tour, I overheard a student remark excitedly to her French teacher as they passed Notre-Dame.  They had just finished reading Victor Hugo’s ‘Notre-Dame de Paris’ that semester and what followed was a very excited conversation about the gargoyles, the architecture and the different interpretations of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

The student was learning more from this conversation and seeing with new eyes something they had studied before, making a real-life connection to something read in the classroom.”

– Frieda Krantz



What about a time you’ve seen a student transform on tour?

“Once on tour, I spoke with a young student who was on her first trip outside the US.  You could tell from the excitement in her voice that even barely off the plane, she was eager for more stamps in her passport.  We talked about travel and some places she’d been/I’d been and where she’d like to go.

On the last day of the tour, she showed me the Amazon receipt for 3 history books and 2 travel novels she’d ordered after I’d mentioned them to her!  The fact that she took this initiative to start learning about other cultures and travel options was a very humbling and inspiring moment for me.”

-Frieda Krantz

“Kids frequently later travel because of memories from their school trips. They often overcome fears and insular thinking during their trips.”

– James Smith



How has a teacher inspired you?

“Many teachers have inspired me my whole life. My dad is a chemistry professor and his love of education inspired me in so many ways. When I was getting ready to go to music school he gave me a beaker that said, ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge,’ which is a quote by Albert Einstein. My favorite teachers have always encouraged creativity out of me. They encouraged making mistakes because no one is an expert from the beginning.”

– Maggie Rodriguez

My voice teacher inspires me to be patient every day with myself and with others. In the competitive world of music, it’s far too easy to get wrapped up in the idea that you have to be better than someone else and to beat yourself up over the smallest of things. But patience is really what gets you through your musical studies… and life in general!”

– Tori Cook

“My sister is an elementary school music teacher and I find it extremely inspiring the way she puts in extra-long hours each week, spends money out of her own pocket, and makes sure that each child has a chance to learn an instrument if it’s something they want to do. I’m sure that the struggles of working in a disadvantaged area can be overwhelming at times, but her dedication to her kids keeps her going year after year!”

– Cindy Esquibel



I’m so thankful to teachers because…

…they have helped make me the happy, confident young woman I am today!”
– Maggie Rodriguez

…they helped inspire me to follow my dreams!
– Frieda Krantz

…they are changing lives!
– Tori Cook

…without them, we wouldn’t be who we are.
– James Smith



Thank you to all teachers out there educating the future generations! 



Music Education Resource Center

Customize Your Tour

Are you ready to take your ensemble to new places? Get a quote from one of our tour consultants who will help you customize a trip to meet your goals.

Get A Quote