With teaching voice and teaching different instruments, the main thing is to bring over the excitement and the passion for the playing or the singing and bring it to whoever it is I’m teaching,” says Dr. Madeline Harts, SEM’s new music teacher. Her strong passion for music makes her perfect for the job. Dr. Harts has been in many previous teaching environments, including Bowling Green State University, University of Miami, SUNY Fredonia, University at Buffalo, and Niagara University. Dr. Harts says she wanted to work at a high school because she enjoys teaching students who want to work together. Her elementary school teacher and her combination of love for the piano and helping her peers is what inspired her to have a career in teaching music. “I think that it’s really fun and exciting to be able to just bring music to life with my fingers and to make it almost sound like singing in a way,” Dr. Harts said.
When asked what her favorite instrument to play is, Dr. Harts responded that she has a special love for the piano. She took lessons when she was younger, but never thought of it as something that she had to do. Creating and exploring new ways of combining different melodies brought up that excitement that she had for playing.
She got excited that her career could revolve around what she loved, so she became involved with music in high school.
Dr. Harts emphasizes that students learning music have to be invested and interested in what they’re doing in order to push themselves forward and feel confident. “It’s not right to think that someone is born with the ability to be good at singing or to be good at an instrument. It’s all learned. Anyone can learn how to do it,” she states.
Outside of SEM, Dr. Harts likes to spread music in the community as much as she can. She is the Executive Director of the Grammy-award winning Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and likes to play at local gigs and festivals. She also loves teaching masterclasses at local universities as well. When she’s not playing music, she loves reading, knitting, and watercolor painting.
Not only does Dr. Harts want to inspire her students to take off in their music careers, she wants everyone at SEM to make music an important factor of their lives, whether that be singing, dancing, playing an instrument, or just listening to music. She also hopes that she can incorporate music more in school events and give private or group lessons in the future for those that still wish to learn or didn’t get an opportunity to do so in the past.