Name: Sandy Miller
City, State: Johnston, IA
Number of years - member of NAfME: 8
Number of years - member of IMEA: 10
Other arts organizations you're a member of: ICDA, KEI
If you've served on the IMEA Board of Directors, which positions have you serve in? Membership Chair
Colleges or institutions you've studied at and which degrees or certificates you’ve received? University of Northern Iowa, BME, Drake University, MA, Drake University, Kodaly Mastery
Total career number of years teaching: 21
What schools have you taught at and what did you teach? Heartland Youth Choir, Artistic Director; Johnston Community Schools, Elementary General Music; St. Augustin Catholic Schools, Elementary/Middle School General Music & Chorus; Des Moines Public Schools, Elementary General Music
What made you go into teaching? I came home from school in 2nd grade and said to my mom, "I want to be a music teacher!" Ever since that I stayed true to that goal, and did all I could to prepare for my career in teaching music.
What has been one of your most enjoyable moments about teaching? It is hard to pick one moment that is most enjoyable. Seeing students grow, watching them as their lightbulbs go off, seeing the pride they have in themselves after a concert or project are the most enjoyable parts of teaching.
What has been one of your funniest moments in teaching? One day in 2nd grade we were doing warm ups at the beginning of class. I had a squishy ball that was blue with big googly white eyes. We called him Mario. Each time I threw him in the air, the kids would say, "Mario" in their siren voices. One day I dropped it, and this little quiet boy sitting next to me says, "Mama Mia" in his siren voice. We all cracked up laughing, and Mama Mia has become a part of that warm up every since.
Something in your teaching career you’re proud of. I am proud of every job that has been offered, every honor choir I've conducted, every opportunity to teach children. It is an honor to be entrusted and responsible for teaching music to my students. It is not an easy job, and sometimes I feel defeated. A new day dawns, and there you are, doing the best job in the whole wide world.
Why are you a member of IMEA? I love the support system we have. You can gather information, or find out who to contact through the website, the magazine issues, and just knowing others in IMEA. It is a great way to keep on top of what is new in the field, and where to go to get more training.
If we looked at your iTunes or Spotify, what music would we find in your "Recently Played" list? Reggae music (Chronix) or Aaron Copeland
When you're not teaching, what do you like to do? Riding Bike and Kayaking
What do you like to do with your summers? Plan for the next year! (I know, I'm a geek). I love being outdoors.
What do you want music education to look like in 20 years? I hope that everyone including those in charge of policies finally see the importance of music and the arts in a child's education. There is so much benefit, so much research, and yet when times get tough, the arts get short changed. I hope in 20 years that music education is available at a high level for all students, and thought about as important as math or science.