Educator Spotlight at T.M.E.A. Pt. 4

Tom Currie
Director of Bands, Alamo Heights Middle School

Tom teaches 350 middle school students that turn over at a rate of 130-140 per year. Every student has a subscription at home, and submits weekly assignments. He talks about:

  • Getting new students excited about playing music
  • Beginners tracking music and contributing to the ensemble faster
  • His computer, “Betsy”
  • Gaining the support of the parents, “I showed it to them, and they were nuts about it”
  • Using SmartMusic to take his already strong program to the next level
He also mentions the funny things students say when they forget they’re being recorded.

Tom Currie has a music degree from the University of Northern Iowa, and trombone is his primary instrument. He moved to San Antonio in the summer of 1981, and took over the Alamo Heights program the following year. At that time it was a very weak music program, but he was able to build up both numbers and quality very quickly. This is when he decided not to go the High School direction, and became interested in how to take his Middle School to the next level.

When it came time to build a new arts wing at his building six years ago, Tom added 15 laptops and wireless internet. This is when he fully implemented SmartMusic, and it is used almost every day. SmartMusic has helped Alamo Heights take their program to the next level.

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