Geraldine Lapierre, Music
We reached out to Ms. Lapierre to learn a little bit more about her and the music program at Tech. Here is what
she shared with us:
How long have you taught at Tech, and what is your educational background?
I have been teaching at Tech for 26 years. I am an Orchestral Music Teacher. I attended Hartwick College in Oneonta
where I studied Music at the Anderson Center for the Arts. My major was in Performance on the violin and my
degree was a Bachelor of Science. Upon graduation, I won a music scholarship from Hartwick College and continued
on for my Masters in Music Education at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.
What drew you to teaching? Were you ever a full-time, professional musician, and do you perform now?
I love music and I love teaching young people how to play instruments. Yes, I am a professional musician. I played professionally with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Charles Schneider. The Catskill Symphony Orchestra paid my college tuition. I used to perform at churches, weddings, anniversary parties, and some studio work. I am on iTunes - my most recent performance is captured on a holiday CD. Dahna Bender is the vocal artist and the name of the CD on iTunes is "Giving of the Heart", which raised funds for the displaced animals from Hurricane Sandy.
What is it like to teach music at a school that is so math-and-science focused?
It is amazing. What most people don't realize is what it takes to create and implement music. We incorporate the use of math and physics in our classes everyday. Our students must calculate the rhythm in their brain while splitting the strings (placing their fingers down on the strings like hammers - shortening and lengthening them, changing the frequencies) and reading different clefs.
Describe your extracurricular involvement at Tech with clubs and the like.
We put on two major concerts per year: the Winter Concert and the Spring Concert. We also have a theatre production every year. Last year we did "Hairspray," and it was terrific. We also attend the All-City Honors Orchestra and this past year I had more string students qualify than any other city high school, including LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and Performing Arts. We also compete in the All-City Chamber Orchestra Competition at Bishop Loughlin High School.
This is an interesting tidbit: when I first started at Tech I taught band and I was the cheerleading coach. The reason I took the job at Tech was because Principal John Tobin told me he would allow me to start a stringed instrument club and possibly a future orchestra. Dreams really do come true!