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The Student News Site of The Preuss School

The Preuss Insider

The Student News Site of The Preuss School

The Preuss Insider

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Preuss Ponders Future Of The Music Program

Barbara Guerrero
Music student practices the piano.

Before the start of the 2023-2024 school year, Preuss’ only music teacher, Dr. Hwong, made the decision to retire. Returning music students as well as beginners were introduced to a new music teacher, Mr. Hemingway, who unfortunately left soon  after the school year started. As a result, Mr. Shapp served as temporary substitute; then the classes transitioned into being taught by Mr. Diego, who also left as the second semester started.

Mr. Diego explained that his departure was due to having to travel to New York for personal reasons. Currently, Mr. Shapp is in charge of the music department.

“As of now, I’m not entirely sure when or if Preuss will hire a new music teacher,” Mr. Shapp explained. “To be honest, I don’t even think there is a plan to hire one.”

Despite Mr. Shapps’ brief knowledge of music, he still has been able to teach classes such as  Intro to Piano and Intro to Guitar. His main focus is guitar since he himself is much more experienced in that field, he has confided in Mauricio Salas’ (‘25) broad knowledge of music and instruments to be able to teach the other classes.

“I don’t mind learning with Mr. Shapp. I like that he lets us figure out this stuff (guitar) on our own,” Heather Trinh said (‘24).

However, students, specifically those who have yet to complete their Visual and Performing Arts year (VAPA), have expressed their concern for the lack of a permanent and knowledgeable teacher. Alternatively, students who desperately need to complete their VAPA year can take an online course on either AP Music Theory or Photography. 

“I have to do an online course in order to complete my VAPA year, but it’s kinda hard because there’s no teacher and I’m more likely to get distracted,” Vianeth Montano Lepe confesses (‘25).

Music students aren’t sure of what the future holds for the music department but regardless, they are happy to be able to continue in their music education for however long they can.

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