Welcome Mrs. Nichols!

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Hello, my name is Kelsey Nichols, and I’m the new choir director at GBN.  I’m thrilled to be joining the program and can’t wait to get started!

I received my Bachelors of Music Education degree from the University of Illinois and student taught at Waubonsie Valley High School in Aurora.  From there, my first job included teaching elementary music and directing a high school show choir.  My second job took me to Wheaton, IL, where I taught choir at Edison Middle School and Wheaton-Warrenville South High School for three years.  I was also responsible for directing their show choirs and musical theater productions.  I am now completing my Masters of Music Education degree from the VanderCook College of Music and beginning my first year here at GBN.

My personal interests include baking, spending time with friends and family, and looking after my dog, Max.  I look forward to getting to know everyone here!

School Board Meeting

On February 10, 2014, I will be talking to the Glenbrook School Board about all of the wonderful ways that Chromebooks can be used in the Fine Arts classroom.  Although you might not expect 1:1 devices to be so important in a performance based class, we’ve found them to be an amazing tool that has increased student learning, helped build community, and maximize instructional time.  We’re excited to continue to learn new and innovative ways that this resource can benefit our students!

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Where I’m From

I am from diapers, from Crayola and Christina

I am from the duplex, two bedroom, three bedroom, five bedroom.
Loud, messy, the smell of wet dogs, wait, the smell of wet dogs.

I am from the corn, the soybean, the fields. 

I am from polka and dancing all night, from Waltroud and Emmeran, and Jerry, Joanne, 

I am from the overworked and from the drinkers. 

From “keep it to a dull roar” and “if I have to tell you again”. 

I am from Catholicism. Up and down, up and down, kneel and up. 
Singing a song, an amen, a prayer. 

I’m from Champaign and gypsies, bratwurst and white bread. 

From the brother of the brother that married the sister of the sister, 
the singers and the dancers, and the teacher after teacher teaching. 

I am from family. Slowly spreading across the nation, growing into adults with new families. I am from friends, Asian, black, Irish, gay. I am from music, singer, player, lover, listener.

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Was your first week of school what you expected?

I’ve been teaching for 20 years now, and I still get nervous the night before school starts.  So far, the year has been off to a great start.  As expected, the kids are all excited to be back (at least they seem that way to me) and I’ve really enjoyed hearing about their summer adventures.  As always, there are a few bumps in the road as classes get settled, but I’m really excited about everything that this year has in store.

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How do you motivate yourself for something that is no longer “new”?

When I am tasked with something that has become routine or mundane, I try to focus on a particular aspect of the activity, rather than focusing on task completion.  For example, we sight-read every day in choir.  Most of the examples are similar in nature, although they do progressively get more difficult.  So, instead of simply trying to sing accurately, I sometimes focus on beauty of tone.  Other times, I’ll pay more attention to balance and blend.  In this way, I can find something fresh and new to consider even in the most familiar activities.

To be honest, sometimes my motivation is simply to complete the activity in the most efficient manner.  Hey, nobody is perfect 🙂

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What is your favorite book/story from childhood and why?

My favorite childhood story is The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.  Although I did not become familiar with this book until I was in high school, it has special meaning for me.  First of all, a very close friend introduced me to the book and so that is cool.  Secondly, as a high schooler, I think I was a bit more able to understand the significance of the story.  Most importantly, as a parent, I can now totally identify with the Giving Tree.  I’ve really enjoyed reading this story to my son and sharing this with him.

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