Faith Amour, Music Teacher
PTK: How long have you been with Carlos Gilbert?
FA: I’ve been with Carlos Gilbert for four years. I’m with Acequia Madre Monday and Tuesday, and with Carlos Gilbert for the rest of the week, Wednesday through Friday. There are two other teachers in the Carlos Gilbert music program. Robert Taylor is the other general music teacher. He teaches on Mondays, and Clarissa Madrid teaches band to 4th through 6th graders.
PTK: How did you decide to become a music teacher?
FA: I went to college for vocal performance in Rochester, New York. By the time I graduated I had changed to music education. Being a teacher is something that’s always been a part of me. I never saw myself under the title of “teacher” but I’ve always been someone who wanted to make sure people didn’t leave a situation or opportunity without learning something from it, whether good or bad. When you marry a love of music to a love of teaching, you get music teacher.
PTK: How do you like working at Carlos Gilbert?
FA: I like working with Carlos Gilbert and the kids here. I have the best kids in all of Santa Fe, period, hands down! We have a lot of fun together. I can be my silly, quirky self and they just laugh.
PTK: You look like you’re always having fun, even when you’re conducting traffic at parent pick up you look like you’re conducting music.
FA: I enjoy that part of my job too, and it’s a good upper body workout!
PTK: What are your goals for the music program this year?
FA: I want to expose the kids to core curriculum, pieces of music, and places and people that are integral to a broad perspective of what music is, and what music is in the world. They need to know essential songs, appropriate to grade level, from different cultures, patriotic songs, like from Africa. There are songs that are very important to people in Kenya, for instance, which is where I just came from.
PTK: You were just in Africa?
FA: Yes, I went with a doctor to set up a medical clinic and to provide free clinics. I had never been to Africa before. It was a very cool first experience to connect in a way that was helping, versus taking a vacation. It was so enlightening. I connected with street kids in Nairobi. We made some music together, and I helped clean the streets.
PTK: How can Carlos Gilbert parents help support your music program and music in our kids’ lives?
FA: Give them opportunities to experience music, whether through playing music at home that’s important to you, taking them to concerts, watching films that are music rich, encouraging them to join choir and do plays, and coming to our performances here. Foster their creative side, which helps them connect with emotion.
PTK: You are also very active in the music community. We’ve seen announcements in town for your public performances, and private lessons.
FA: Music is all through my life. After I’m done making music with the kids all day, I go perform at night. I just preformed at Vanessie. I’m there twice a month, as well as El Meson, and Pranzo, usually performing jazz with the best musicians in town I can find. I’m performing opening might this year at Music on the Hill (which PTK notes is very family friendly!) I also teach voice, piano and French. My private lesson roster is full. I’ll probably be taking more students in the summer.
PTK: You teach French?
FA: Yes, I’m from Canada, and studied French for half of my subjects all the way through school including through university.
PTK: What brought you to Santa Fe?
FA: I was looking for music teaching positions. SFPS hired me and I came. I arrived on the first day of school in 2009.
PTK: How do you like Santa Fe?
FA: Santa Fe is cool! I love it more and more each year. I didn’t expect there to be winter, and I learned to love green chile quickly.