Introducing Ms. McKenna

It is with great excitement that I can finally announce the choir director for the 2018-2019 school year here at Akins HS, Ms. Mary McKenna. I know that she will do a fantastic job and is ready to jump in with both feet.

A note from Ms. McKenna:

Dear Students, Parents, and Staff,
          My name is Mary McKenna, and I am very excited to be joining you at Akins next year.  I am originally from Georgetown, Texas, but have spent the last seven years living in Austin attending the University of Texas, gaining experience in schools, and teaching private piano and voice lessons.  At UT, I received a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Master’s in Music and Human Learning with an emphasis on piano and singing.  Throughout college, I also enjoyed being a member of the Big Flags section in the Longhorn Band.  For the past three years, I have been teaching elementary school music in Round Rock ISD.
          In addition to teaching, I love spending time with my family and going on adventures. Some of my favorites include sightseeing, relaxing at the beach, hiking, snow skiing, and watching Broadway musicals.  I also love cycling with my Texas 4000 teammates and doing various volunteer work in the Austin area.
         I don't really think you can ever stop making new friends or learning about as many new things as possible. I do believe that something wonderful is always about to happen, smiling is contagious, and love really is all you need. Especially love in the form of hugs—I’m a huge fan of hugs!
          Music has brought me more joy than I can possibly explain.  As my awesome music teachers have done for me, I hope to impact my students by expressing the delight of creating and sharing the beauty of music with others. I plan to equip my students with the skills necessary to read and understand high-quality music literature and to be able to express intelligent opinions about music in the real world.
          Striving for musical excellence expands students’ understanding of the value of dedication and motivates them toward the highest level of excellence in all other areas of education.  More importantly, it contributes to overall happiness and fulfillment both inside and outside of school.  It is my belief that all music students should be prepared to successfully participate in music making throughout their adult lives.  People who can make quality music and discuss music intelligently with others are valued members of the community. 
          As a music teacher, I believe that it is my responsibility to teach healthy, sustainable vocal and instrumental techniques to every student.  I will carefully choose varied repertoire in order to expose my students to the vast world of music and prepare them to successfully enter the world of musicianship. Perhaps most importantly, I hope to encourage my students to dream big, be kind, believe in themselves, and work hard as they pursue their music studies and whatever else they are passionate about.
         If there is ever anything I can do to help you, please let me know.  I look forward to meeting and getting to know each and every one of you! 
Mary McKenna