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#PREPpeople: Diane Hastings
Posted 06/14/2018 10:04AM

Music Teacher Diane HastingsOne in an occasional series of snapshots spotlighting the people of the St. John’s Prep campus

HOMETOWN: Findlay, Ohio

EDUCATION: B.A., music education, Bowling Green State University; M.M., music education Cincinnati College—Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati


SUBJECT: Grade 6, 7 and 8 strings, chorus

FUN FACT: “My first job out of school was in Salem, Oregon. I taught there for two years and met a really wonderful colleague who said the [Eastern Caribbean island of] Saint Lucia string program needs a teacher and could I think of anyone who would be interested...‘or hey, do you want to go?’ The more I learned about it, the more I started to get that pull to go. So I visited, loved it, and decided to move there. I taught strings, ran an orchestra program, taught lessons, met amazing kids, and had a fabulous time. I loved it but after two years, I knew it was time to get more training and take the next step, so I came back to get my master’s.”

DESCRIBE A TEACHER WHO INSPIRED YOU GROWING UP:The teacher who had the biggest impact in my life was, not surprisingly, my orchestra teacher from middle school and high school, Dave Hanson. He inspired me to go to a summer music festival called Brevard, where I learned that there were other people out there like me, people who were just as passionate and crazy about music! It is a beautiful place in the mountains with a lake and cabins for practicing, as well as incredible faculty and guest artists. Looking back, it was the turning point where I become serious about my music.”

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO TEACH FOR A LIVING? “In high school, I also did a mentorship program with Mr. Hanson where I looked at what it would be like to teach orchestra. His guidance and encouragement helped me see myself going into music. I have looked back on his teaching throughout my whole career.”

WHAT EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE OF ST. JOHN’S INFORMS YOUR WORK WITH STUDENTS AT THE PREP? "Performing music, whether with a local symphony, a wedding quartet, a cover band, or an original band with my husband really informs my teaching as a musician. It keeps me at the top of my game, and inspires me to continue improving, practicing, and ‘walking the walk.’ I also get to tell the kids real life stories, whether to inspire them or help them learn from my mistakes. This year, for example, I performed with the band 2Cellos and the students loved to hear what it was like. And of course, I also have tons of stories of times that things didn't go perfectly in a performance, and how that is a normal and necessary part of learning and growing."

WHAT DO YOU LOVE THE MOST ABOUT WORKING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE EVERY DAY? “I love the adventure of working with young people. Whether it’s one-on-one or in a group, I love seeing them feel accomplished and have that little spark happen where they know why it’s worth practicing—that moment where they say ‘that was so awesome; we sounded so good!’ That makes me really happy.”
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