By Cassie Varcoe
Dr. Chris Brown is the choir teacher at Foley High School.
Cassie Varcoe interviewed Dr. Brown recently regarding his teaching and choir experiences.
Q: What was your first job?
A: I have been a music teacher since 1992. My first job was at a large K-2 school in Florida where I taught general elementary music. I did that for almost 10 years.
What college did you graduate from, and what are you degrees in?
I graduated from the University of Mississippi, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education in 199o, University of Mississippi, with a Master’s Degree in Music in 2010, and the University of South Florida with a PhD in Music Education in 2016.
What classes do you teach now?
I teach three sections of Keyboard 1 and three choir classes; Chamber Choir (mixed audition choir), Advanced Women’s Choir, and Women’s Choir.
Do you have a trademark expression?
You’re not allowed to say “I can’t do that” only “I can’t do it YET.”
The best advice you would give to a 20 year old would be:
Pursue your college degree. The statistics show you’ll make more money, the more degrees you have earned. DO WHAT YOU LOVE!
What would you tell someone who wants do choir but is nervous about singing in front of people?
I tell them that their confidence will grow as they learn how to sing AND the great thing about choir is that you’re singing with other people, so you’re never “singled-out,” which also lessons their anxiety.
What would you do if you won the lottery?
I would buy a big fishing boat and fish more and TRAVEL around the world
If you wrote a book, what would it be about?
I have begun writing a book entitled “The Strong Case for Music Education” which details the research on how music education is essential for a child’s development neurologically, socially and aesthetically.
How would your parents describe you when you were 5?
Busy! Always into something…
What is your favorite technology?
I dabble with composing music and using music notation software on the computer. I hope to have something printed and published one day…
Why did you get into teaching choirs?
I LOVE teaching students all four years in High School and watching them grow and develop as musicians, students & citizens. Music is the BEST tool for that!!