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Tracy Smith

Teacher Feature--Mr. Tracy Smith

 By: Kevin McAfoos

 The Midway instrumental music program has been under the direction of Tracy Smith for the past 25 years. During those years, Tracy Smith has influenced the musical talents of hundreds of students. A discussion with Mr. Smith about music, teaching, and life revealed some insights into what inspires this teacher.

 Q:How did your love for music begin?

 A:At Fun House Pizza on Wednesday nights when I was little, my parents would take us out and there was a live band. I always wanted to be the person playing the music and would stand around pretending I was a musician. (Sometimes I still pretend).

 Q:Where did you go to college?

 A:I went to UCM but at the time it was CMSU. My degree is in Jazz and Commercial Music and then I went back for teacher certification. I have a Masters degree in Tuba Performance.

 Q:Why did you become a teacher?

 A:I originally thought I would be a teacher and then decided that performance might be better but then decided to go back to the idea of teaching. Honestly when I started it was just a job; it took me longer than most to really grow to enjoy what I was doing.

 Q:Why do you enjoy teaching?

 A:I enjoy the interaction with students and seeing them make progress over time. I can’t take credit for all of their successes--that’s due to their hard work--but I hope that I at least send them in the right direction.

 Q:How would you describe your career generally?

 A:It has had good years and less than good years, I seem to enjoy the kids more as each year passes; however, some of the administrative tasks wear on me more than when I was younger.

 Q:Who is your idol?

 A:I can’t point to one idol but I do idolize certain traits in people such as honesty, commitment, hard work and an ability to think ahead.

 Q:When are you planning on retiring?

 A:The time frame is unknown, after Gina graduates I will be examining my options.

 Q:What goals do you have for your students?

 A:I have big goals and little goals, the big goals are for them to enjoy playing music, be able to interact in a group setting in a professional manner and understand themselves a little better from being in my class. Little goals are to be exceptional performers on their instruments, have fun with their friends and feel like they are part of something.

 Q:What is your favorite instrument?

 A:Guitar, still love to practice and learn new things every day.

 Q:Why do you have so many rubber ducks?

 A:I started collecting them after a student gave me a few because I had said something in class that sounded to them like ducky,ducky,ducky etc. So they gave me that nickname and a bunch of rubber ducks, Oh, and they’re cool.