After working with the West Essex High School marching band part time for six years band teacher Elise McAloon is now working here full time. Growing up in the music industry, McAloon gained a passion to make her students achieve their full ability.
“Watching the look on the students’ faces when we do well, or when they have accomplished something that they have been working hard on,” Elise McAloon said. “I enjoy experiencing that with them,” McAloon said.
With McAloon’s father being a music teacher, he became her biggest inspiration to achieve her goal of doing the same. Being exposed to instruments as a child motivated McAloon tremendously to try different forms of music which helped her discover her passion for it.
“I’d say my dad is my biggest inspiration and he inspires me to be a better teacher,” McAloon said.
McAloon went to William Paterson University and majored in music education with a concentration in percussion. This is her 4th year teaching high school and for the last six years she worked part time with the West Essex Marching Band. She teaches Concert Band and Symphonic Winds and has lessons during lunch. She also goes to the Middle School to help out with their band for a period.
With this being her fourth year of teaching, McAloon has adjusted her style of teaching students. McAloon is very understanding to her students but also teaches them the importance of determination to achieve their full capabilities.
“Helping them achieve the best of their ability and pushing them whether it’s playing harder repertoire or through rehearsal, making sure they’re the best musicians and best people they can be,” McAloon said.
As a previous band member, now a band teacher, McAloon is very understanding towards her students, because she was once in their position.
“Just being understanding and still making sure that music is a good outlet for them and a way for them to relax,” McAloon said.
McAloon believes music helps students prepare for the real world because they are getting used to showing up for a class and having something prepared and working with others in their sections of instruments.
“You get out of it what you put into it,” McAloon said.
Choir and theater teacher Marion Drew began working in the music department with her this year. Drew explained how McAloon’s passion influences her teaching and how she encourages her students which helps them gain confidence which leads them to achieve their best skill.
“I think they respect her for having confidence in them and that she really wants them to do really well, for them, not for herself, but for them,” Drew said.
New band teacher McAloon fulfills the responsibility of not only teaching her students but allowing them to retrieve their best ability and grow as people through her kindness and encouragement.