Music in Our Schools Month Spotlight: Amy Sierzega
By Allison Whisnant
Welcome back to Kappa Kappa Psi’s Music In Our Schools Month series! The next brother we’re spotlighting is Amy Siergeza. Amy was initiated into the Zeta Epsilon chapter at Michigan State University in 2008. She received her bachelor and master degrees from MSU and currently teaches at Lakewood Elementary in the Ann Arbor Public Schools in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She is in her sixth year there and teaches pK-5 general music and beginning band. She also teaches early childhood (birth-5yrs) music classes at the Community Music Academy at Eastern Michigan University.
Amy first realized that she wanted to be a music teacher in high school. The band room was the place where she felt like she belonged and was significant. Her band teacher was one of her biggest inspirations. Her positive experience helped her realize that music was her calling.
Kappa Kappa Psi was one of her most positive experiences in her collegiate career because it allowed her to work alongside great musicians and directors in her school of music. She entered college believing that she wanted to teach high school but ended up graduating with a passion for elementary music. One of her professors, Dr. Cynthia Taggart, played a huge role in realizing this passion by showing Amy all the amazing things children could do musically. In regards to her goals in her career, she says, “My hope is that–through building a foundation of independent musicianship in elementary school–my students will leave me with the skills to engage with music in the ways that are most meaningful to them! I hope to be a small part of emboldening their lifelong musicianship.”
The core beliefs of Kappa Kappa Psi play a huge part in her teaching philosophy. She recognizes that every student is complex, valuable, and meaningful and is grateful to musically interact with her students every day. She credits Kappa Kappa Psi for teaching her these beliefs and also for helping her grow as a person.
Amy had wonderful advice for young or aspiring music educators. “While making music in the classroom with students can be (and is!) rewarding, my advice to aspiring music educators would be to find a musical outlet where you can continue making music outside of school. For me, this has involved playing saxophone in and serving as assistant conductor for a local community band, but it has also meant having ukulele jam sessions by myself or with friends, just because. Just as our students are musicians who have valuable musical voices, you do, too. Make time to use your voice, make time to listen, and make time to learn.”
We are thankful for Amy for continuing to teach her students while being a positive role model for her students and a positive representative of Kappa Kappa Psi.