Melissa Stouffer. I have to say that I am not related to the lasagna people and they don’t give me any money. I wish! My name is actually pronounced “Staw-fer” not “Stoe-fer”.
What I Have Taught:
I’ve taught general music for infants to 8th grade, elementary and middle school band, and choir from 1st grade through high school, but currently teach preschool to 5th grade general music, including some mixed grade classrooms, elementary and middle school choir and two middle school bands. I started the band program at one of my current schools and the program is my pride and joy!
Where I Have Taught:
I’m definitely a Michigan girl! I live and teach in the Metro Detroit area.
Favorite Teaching Memory:
This is super hard to chose, but my Middle School Choir comes to mind. The 6th – 8th grade at my school is just under 50 kids and they must participate in either band or choir. Only 8 kids are in choir, and while they work hard, there’s only so much noise 8 kids can make. The kids have made some lovely music this year, but they hadn’t had that big “WOW” moment yet. Our rehearsal started out really timidly (they have been really nervous about festival), so after a little hemming and hawing, I asked them to just sing as loudly as they could without worrying about wrong notes, vowels, or mistakes. And it happened. While they were singing, I got chills. When they finished the song, they all started squealing because they all felt it too. I’m so thrilled they finally got that big moment!
Three Fun Facts About Me:
I love lemons! I like them in water, sweet and savory and pretty much like everything lemon flavored, even if it’s sour. Sometimes I’ll stop and buy one on the way home and even end up with it in my purse for a day.
I have a spoiled white fluffball of a dog named Cindy Lou Who. If you want me to keep a conversation going, just ask about her!
I started my musical journey as a clarinet player, but one day, my 81 year old band director gave me the sly side eye in a private lesson one day, telling me he wanted a big band. “Do you want to play saxophone?”
Six words changed my life, and I haven’t been the same since!
Why I Love TpT:
From the time I started teaching, I’ve traveled, been on a cart, shared space, most recently teaching 16 different classes a week (and as high as 19!) Some of the classes are multiple grades, so nothing repeats which means no repeated lesson plans! Carrying all those manipulatives and books from building to building and constantly scrambling to write things on little whiteboards as I went from place to place got old quick! I could never remember everything! TpT allows me to always have what I need with me. I can copy it, print it, project it as necessary, and have quick access to all the different manipulatives and assessments I want with the push of a button. Genius!
Music Teacher Quick Tip:
I know this seems a little obvious, but your kids have to trust you. With older kids, sometimes it might not happen by being subtle. When I started at my current job a few years back, I had a class of 5th graders that really didn’t like to sing. By March, I had figured out that it was because singing before had often been accompanied by movement. I finally got them to try for me when I promised them I would never make them do something I wouldn’t do as well. While this seems a little silly, it turned a lot of them around to trying things with me! I’m not much of an expressive mover, so I completely get the sentiment. These kids now regularly participate willingly in singing activities, and some are even in choir! Don’t forget it’s really important your students trust you, and sometimes, you might need to be a little bit blunt about it!
Two Products You May Not Have Seen in My Store:
My Kodaly-Aspiring Recorder Method follows solfege without worrying about new note names. This method uses what they already know: solfege and rhythm syllables. Focusing on introduction of the fingering instead of the note name helps students understand by using a known concept instead of the idea of note names which can be very abstract for some kids.
These Folk Dance Formation Posters will completely revolutionize how you teach formations to your students. Instead of trying to explain, doodle, or have to move kids into places, this creates a top-down view of the formation so students can see how they should look and even which way to face! No more telling Sally to turn to the right and having Johnny turn too!
I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me! I can’t wait for you to meet the rest of the Crew! We’re a fun bunch! Check out more from me by taking a peek at my blog.
Mrs. Stouffer’s Music Room