When I left home and went to college, I was absolutely certain I was going to be a teacher. My music education teachers all gave me glowing recommendations, including one from a notoriously tough teacher that read "Tom has the potential to be a leader in the field." (That was from Thomas Wisniewski, if any of you readers happen to have majored in music education at the University of Illinois. He had a reputation for being a difficult teacher, but I loved his orchestral conducting class.) I had a terrific student teaching experience in Oswego, Illinois, and I was all set to make my mark. My budding school band director career came to a screeching halt when I found myself in a difficult first year teaching situation in a small town following a band director who had retired after teaching there for 40 years. Ugh! What a horrid experience!
I left area of public school teaching and refocused on performance.
private guitar students, and in another couple months, I'll be offering guitar classes at Tessitura. For starters, I'll offer a class for adult beginners and another for young beginners. Once those classes are finished, I'll be able to continue offering beginners' classes, as well as a Guitar II class for those who completed the beginner's course.
I'm not sure when it happened, but lately I've realized that teaching is one of my favorite things. Maybe I just needed some life experience. Maybe I needed to find a way to teach on my own terms rather than be part of a school system. Whatever the reason, I'm happy that I found my teaching mojo again.
- Tom Godfrey
- Atlanta, GA, United States
- When I suffered a lip injury that ended my career as a classical trombonist, I thought my life as a musician was finished, but I fell in love with music all over again when Santa gave me a guitar for Christmas in 2003. Even as I was struggling with my first chords, I was planning a new performance career. As a trombonist, I performed with the Heritage of America Band at Langley Air Force Base, the Ohio Light Opera, and in pick-up bands for touring acts that included Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, and the Manhattan Transfer. Reborn as a jazz guitarist, I sing and play my own solo arrangements of jazz classics, am half of the Godfrey and Guy duo, and hold the guitar chair in the Sentimental Journey Orchestra. I have been a freelance music copyist since 1995, served as Director of Music at Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation from 2011 to 2017, and currently serve as Contemporary Band Director at the same congregation.