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Volunteer gives time to orchestra

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Kou Lee working to be a music teacher

Volunteer+conductor+Kou+Lee+leads+warm+ups+for+orchestra+class+May+16.
Volunteer conductor Kou Lee leads warm ups for orchestra class May 16.

Volunteer conductor Kou Lee leads warm ups for orchestra class May 16.

Sophie Olmen

Sophie Olmen

Volunteer conductor Kou Lee leads warm ups for orchestra class May 16.

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According to orchestra director Miriam Edgar, Kou Lee is a volunteer helping orchestra out because he is working on his teaching license.  

“Kou is a friend of mine from college and Kou is volunteering his time to get orchestra experience in our classroom and we’re also observing his knowledge too,” Edgar said.

Lee said as a child he wanted to be a music teacher when he grew up.

“As a kid I wanted to be a teacher, but when I got to college I didn’t have that in mind and then I picked up performance,” Lee said.

According to Lee, he found his way back to his childhood dream once he got more experience teaching kids.

“Working for youths and going to Normandale and tutoring, everything kind of came together and I realized at the end of that year at Normandale ‘hey I want to teach,’” Lee said.

Edgar said Lee contacted her to get the experience of teaching a orchestra class.

“Kou contacted me in January, my life was crazy because we had the rock concert so after the rock concert we got back in touch with Kou and we set it up for him to come in,” Edgar said.

Lee said conducting a piece at orchestra’s spring concert.

“I love (conducting). I’m not stressed at all. I’m not stressed because the students here are pretty awesome,  so they make it very easy for me,” Lee said.

Junior Joshua Somaiah said Lee has helped him and the other violins with their presence.  

“(Lee helped) with posture, correcting our form and placement on the fingerboard and how to correctly hold the bow in our right hands,” Somaiah said.

According to Lee, rehearsing for conducting a song was hard when the class time was limited.

“Because we don’t have a lot of time to do sectionals or solos, the way you speak with students is really important, so I tried to be careful about what I say and how I interact with them to build a relationship” Lee said. “That way you can teach students because if you don’t have a relationship then students won’t listen to you.”

Edgar said Lee’s time working with orchestra for many months is a great help to her.

“He’s here four to five days a week. Originally he started twice a week because he still had school and he had to give time to that,” Edgar said. “It feels we have a really good student teacher because (Kou) has already been through student teaching”

According to Lee, he wants to teach orchestra because he loves music.

“I love music. I love teaching. I think being there to. When you get to a certain age you know certain amount of stuff,” Lee said. “I think for me it feels you have that responsibility that you are there to support kids and their developments.”

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Volunteer gives time to orchestra