Fulton Home Winner - Mr. Durham

Fulton
Photo credit KOOL FM

How I started teaching...
Being the kid of a band director, there was always a beat up brass instrument laying around the house. and I'd always find it and start messing with it. I started playing in Band myself in the 4th grade, and it quickly became the focus of my life. Being the son and the grandson of band directors (and both of my parents were teachers), I was keenly aware of the extra effort, the large after school time commitment, the drive, and the passion required to be successful at this job. The Music Educator idea hit me my sophomore year in high school and by the time I graduated, I was all in...

What inspires me...
I continue to be inspired and humbled by the kids as I get older... the looks on their faces when they finally "get it" when teaching a new musical concept, or when a new piece of music finally comes together after a lot of frustration and sweat and work... and they're inspired to work even harder. I know the kids are learning the classic lifelong skills of hard work, long range goal setting, passion towards a craft, working closely together with others with a common goal, and they are completely enjoying it. Those characteristics will put them at the forefront of a constantly changing job market as they get older, and they will enter the workforce being much more committed, driven, and compassionate through their study of music. Band kids are the greatest humans around, and I love them dearly....

How students have impacted my life...
I've been teaching long enough that I'm reaching multiple generations now and that becomes more special for me every year. Many students have continued to stay in touch with me as the years have gone by and many have grown up, married, and now have their kids in my bands as well. I call them grandstudents. This "Band Family," including my fellow music educators, continues to impact me and my family as a  source of inspiration and pride and also as a large source of support for each other in times of grief or crisis...