A Look into the Mind of the Newest Choir Teacher: Mr. Martinez

Alaynna Bishop, Staff Reporter

The story of Mr. Martinez is truly inspiring. Mr. Martinez is one of the newest teachers at Gloucester High School, and he has taken the position of choir teacher. This year was the first in his journey of teaching, and so far, he hasn’t regretted it. He ultimately decided to begin teaching choir because he has always enjoyed the art of music and what it has to offer, so he came to the realization that it would be rewarding to start teaching students the way of music. Mr. Martinez wants to be a supportive, engaging, and entertaining teacher. He also wants to help students explore all types of music and to achieve their goals in terms of career paths with this creative art. Before teaching, Mr. Martinez worked in customer service, he was the manager of a restaurant and he had formed his own independent company, so he had a lot of responsibilities to manage during those times. Just like most people, he loved working with and at his business, but he despised having to do the paperwork that came with it. 

Mr. Martinez has proved to have proficient and exemplary managing skills and has made an excellent choir teacher. Becoming a teacher has a lot of responsibilities and needs a lot of dedication, but it is also fun and can be very rewarding!  He states that even though it has been challenging and it has been different from everything else that he’s done before, he enjoys working as a choir instructor. Mr. Martinez talked about how interesting his job is, and how he learns new things every day. He’s still expanding his horizons as an instructor and trying to assert what he wants to accomplish while teaching at GHS. Throughout this little duration of his educational career so far, it has been very exciting, especially with how many new events the choir program has to offer now and in the future. He stated how the best experience of his first year teaching was actually the winter concert. It was enjoyable for him to see his hard-working students perform and put up a good show. Following up after that, he figured since Christmas embarks the start of the big events at the school, it would be a good time to fundraise for all the choir uniforms and travel costs. Mr. Martinez has been fundraising and trying his best to raise money for the students to give them a better experience, and he’s trying to improve school spirit. He wants to rebuild the spirit of the choir after the COVID outbreak had put everything in a bad position. All of this has been fun, especially with the All District and All States choirs occurring. The biggest thing he wants to accomplish is to give his students the best of high school memories to carry on through life, and he wants to help his students grow and achieve big things in the future. 

Jaden Clark states his opinion on Mr. Martinez, saying that “He is a cool teacher, he has even gone as far as helping the marching band with singing, he didn’t have to, but he was looking out for us.” When a teacher signs up for a job, all they are required to do is teach, but he goes out of his way to help other programs and students to help them with their struggles and success.

Mr. Martinez has had to learn how to manage high school students and ensure that everyone receives a stable learning environment in his class. Dealing with students, especially after COVID, can be a difficult thing as most adolescents are struggling themselves or are just plain apathetic.  It can be hard to create an environment, to help students instead of hindering them. Being a teacher is a tough job, but being a good teacher is incredibly difficult and strenuous. Also, the act of planning a concert for the students to perform can make anyone very tired and can be very stress-inducing. He has to make sure that awareness of the events is at a steady enough level to guarantee a significant turnout of audience members, memorize multiple songs, keep everything in line, make sure the music can be performed correctly, assist students in memorizing the music, and secure a plan for how the evening will proceed. It’s a lot of work that will undoubtedly take a lot of time. It adds up, and can become very stressful. Even with the obstacles, Mr. Martinez still has fun and still learns things along the way! 

Abby Lassiter, a student in concert choir talks about how she “loves concert choir! It brings people together and I am so excited about the music in our school’s concert!”

“I love choir! It is so fun!” Kylie Valcourt says, another concert choir student.

Many students from all around the school enjoy having Mr. Martinez as a teacher. The choir director could choose to do out-of-date songs and songs that the children wouldn’t enjoy, but Mr. Martinez doesn’t do that. He lets the students have a say in the pieces they perform. The music department isn’t just instructional time and extracurricular classes that provide easy grades, the music department in this school is a family. 

An upcoming event for the choir is the Music in our Schools concerts! This concert is a pyramid concert, which means that all the county’s fifth graders, middle schools, and some high school students are all performing in one large troupe together. This concert will take place March 28th, at 6:30 P.M. The songs that will be performed include: “Black Bird,” “Why We Sing,” and “Blue Skies.” 

Music in Our Schools takes place during March, which is also the national month for Music in schools awareness. Music in our schools month is a great opportunity to raise awareness and share music with the community and schools because. This concert will be a great learning opportunity for kids to learn teamwork and problem-solving skills with the other students because there will be people of many ages! Having these combined activities with the elementary and middle schools is a great way for kids to start thinking about what they want to do in the future.