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Masters sought for musical excellence

Quick steps rushed around the room, a hop or two avoids the toys strewn about, and a man grabs his keys as he rushes out the door. His mind whirls in full gear to make sure he had everything for his next class.

A day in the life of band teacher Paul McEntee juggles school, work and raising his two boys as he pursues his master’s degree in Music Education.

With a full time job on campus, two kids under three-years-old and a wife who works full time, time is scarce, but McEntee found time about a year and a half ago to go back to school.

“I decided to go back to become a better teacher,” McEntee said. “I knew there was a lot more I needed to learn. With this degree I will have more knowledge to pass on to my students.”

Many students might ask ?Why would anyone want to go back to school after they have a job?’ McEntee discovered not everything is captured the first time through school.

“The first time I was in college, I’d never been a teacher and I didn’t know which things were the most important,” McEntee said. “Going back to school with experience as a teacher has helped me be a better teacher and I will be able to teach my students more.”

Last year with classes four nights a week, and this year with two classes a week, McEntee has been attending courses in Conducting, Music Theory, and Interdisciplinary Music [how music relates to something else] at California State University, Fresno [CSUF].

“It’s been really hard to balance school, work, and family, but it’s been easier this year since I’m only going [to class] two nights a week and I’ll be done this spring,” McEntee said.

While McEntee has been able to balance the major things in his life, a few of his pastimes have been cut short changed lately.

“I’ve had to spend less time doing my hobbies like basketball and playing music,” McEntee said. “I still get to do them, just not as often as I’d like.”

All campus teachers are required to continue their education by taking classes to keep up with the latest methods.

“ACSI credentials require all the teachers to go back to school to ensure constant improvement,” Principal Gary Shultz said. “Teachers need to continue learning.”

Many of the students around campus have taken part in the experiment McEntee is conducting for research in his master’s degree.

“My hypothesis is that music has an affect on our emotions,” McEntee said. “I don’t know if I’m going to discover anything; I’m still compiling information. The experiment could be inconclusive, but it’s more about the learning process than discovering something.”

For more information about McEntee’s experiment contact him at [email protected] or contact the high school office at 299-1695, ext. 5.

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