A MUSIC teacher from the Capital has spoken of her most vivid memories as she prepares to step down after 40 years in the profession.
Jeanette Matuszak – who takes music classes at Towerbank, Wardie, Blackhall and Cramond primaries – said she would miss pupils and colleagues but added that she was “looking forward” to retirement and had applied for a place on an arts foundation course which begins after she steps down later this month.
The 60-year-old also said that the most important element of her work was instilling a wide-ranging love of music in pupils.
“I try to give the children I teach a real overview,” she said. “Personally, I play the piano but I also like to develop their singing voices or get them to play things like percussion instruments.
“I also like to encourage them to make up their own compositions and make inroads into listening to different types of music.”
Born in Falkirk on March 24, 1953, Jeanette was brought up by music-loving parents who made sure their passion was passed on.
She said: “There was always a lot of music around at home. My mother was very keen that both my sister, Elaine, and I were involved in music and sent us to piano lessons. My dad had a lovely singing voice.
“I think the music part of my teaching was definitely due to my family – I always felt that I was nudged into it, that it was the right place for me to be.”
After attending Grange Primary and Grangemouth High, Jeanette obtained her college diploma in teaching from Moray House in 1973.
She spent the first two years of her career at Grange Primary before getting married and moving to the Capital.
There, she found work as a music teacher at Duddingston and Lismore primaries after attending a short training course in Stirling.
Stints at a number of other schools followed in later years, with Jeanette also giving birth to a son and daughter.
And as she worked with children in schools across the Capital, eventually joining Towerbank Primary in 1990, her love of teaching music grew steadily.
She said: “It always felt very natural to me as something I’d grown up with – that I was using skills that I had always had to a certain extent. Of course, I really enjoy passing on knowledge but there’s always been an element of fun in it as well – the children and I get some good laughs.”
Jeanette said she would miss her “supportive” colleagues but added that she was looking forward to a bit of down-time, as well as opportunities to explore new interests.
She said: “Let’s say I have some lovely holidays arranged. I’ve also applied to do an Open University arts foundation course and I’m interested in pursuing creative writing.”