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Inside CPS

News and Stories from across the District

Forming Connections Between Music and Other Disciplines

02 May 2024

By Mrs. Zanneta Kubajak, a Teacher at Owen Scholastic Academy 

Owen Teacher

When I was a CPS student, my uncle was my music teacher. I thought it was so cool how everyone liked him, and I felt like he got to teach so many cool things. Thus, I guess it’s not too surprising that I’m now a CPS music teacher. It’s been a fun ride at Owen over the past five years. 

I don’t only see myself as a teacher. I see myself as someone who can change, influence, and impact the world at a grassroots level. I have my own vision for the world, and I know that I can contribute to that vision by helping students become the best version of themselves. I can positively influence them in an authentic way—one student at a time. 

My students would probably tell you that I have too much energy. I try to hype up my younger students and am really silly and dramatic with them. With my middle schoolers, I try to be motivational and always remind them that I care and that they can do it. 

I’ve been involved in choir pretty much my entire life, so I love introducing my students to choir. I also enjoy teaching them about music production and modern band. A lot of students might not want to be in an ensemble like a choir or a band, but I still want them to leave my class with skills that can benefit them in the future. 

The first one that comes to mind is perseverance. Music can be frustrating at times, but I don’t want that frustration to paralyze my students. Instead, I want them to know how to power through things that don’t come naturally to them or that they don’t think they would enjoy. 

I’ve found that my class can be a starting place for students to build up their courage. I have some students who are extroverted, and others who are not. I’ll never forget our Winter Showcase. One of my students is typically very shy, but, when she got on stage, you would never have known that. 

Watching my students blossom makes everything I do worth it. I’m excited to be participating in the Yale National Fellows program this year to help that happen even more. My focus will be on figuring out how to apply a more culturally relevant lens to my classroom by connecting my instruction to situations we’re experiencing today through literacy and through music. 

There are an infinite number of connections between what my students are learning in their different classes. I’m so excited to be an asset as they figure them out and start to determine how they want to impact our world.  

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