Grand Meadow Public School welcomes Nikita Albrecht, the new K-12 vocal music teacher, and her family to Grand Meadow.
“After hearing many positives about the Grand Meadow School and community, I did a lot of ‘research’ into what the job and the community might be like and decided it just felt like a very good fit for my family and me. It is closer to where my husband and I live, so our children can attend school there (we have a three-year-old and a baby on the way) when the time comes. I am excited about the variety of ages I get to teach, as well. I truly love the small-town feel and the support of a town that is full of pride for their school,” shares Albrecht.
She graduated high school from Blue Earth Area School in Blue Earth, Minn. Her undergraduate degree is in Music Education, with an emphasis on Vocal from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She earned a Master’s in Music Ed-Choral Conducting from North Dakota State University, Fargo, N. Dak.
Albrecht began her teaching career at Martin County West as the K-12 vocal teacher during the 2013-2014 school year. From 2014 to the spring of 2020, Albrecht taught at Dover-Eyota High School/Middle School as the Vocal Music Instructor for grades 7th – 12th.
Optimist, motivational speaker, and author, Simon Sinek, stress that organizations and staff search for the answer to why they do what they do — knowing why is critical to one’s success.
Albrecht’s “why”: “Though I teach and love music, the most important part of teaching is building positive relationships with my students and showing them how truly important school and life is. I want my students to know that I am there for them, will push and challenge them, ask them to be open-minded when learning, and to work together. There are many compromises in music and ensembles, working together, sacrifice, and often leadership opportunities. By teaching various styles, periods, and genres of music, I hope my students learn that no matter their preference, music can be a constant in our lives that provides too many benefits to even describe.
Education is faced with its share of challenges and opportunities due to COVID-19. One can only imagine how incredibly challenging it is for first-year teachers and experienced teachers new to the district. It would seem that some classes would be more difficult than others, like music.
Albrecht has a firm handle on what needs to be done for her students to learn and to be safe at the same time.
“To safely sing following the guidelines given to us by the state and the health organizations, students must have a minimum of six feet apart and wear masks at all times if we are singing. Singing is supposed to be limited to 20-30 minutes at a time, and then the classroom must be cleared to allow for proper ventilation and air exchange. If we want to sing without masks, we must be outdoors at a minimum of 12 feet apart. This makes it difficult for even strong singers to hear one another, which makes singing in an ensemble a much different experience both for me as the teacher and for my students. A choir can be such a fun, social time for students to interact and work as a team, but with the distance that we must maintain, it has taken some of that away, for now, so I hope students can understand that it won’t be this way forever. However, the silver lining is, there are a lot of standards that must be taught in music education besides the singing and performance standards, and the changes this year have truly allowed us, teachers, more time to devote to teaching things like music history, theory, listening, analyzing, creativity and discussion. It has forced us to think outside the box and collaborate as music colleagues more than ever. It has also brought about many cool opportunities to incorporate technology into our teaching!” shared Albrecht.
The Grand Meadow students are in good hands!