What is your teaching philosophy?
First, my personal philosophy is to be an example to my students and show them that it is possible to do what you are most passionate about in life. I use myself as an example: I get to come to work and do what I love every day – make music! Music is a part of all of our lives and has been proven to enrich student’s lives and education. While I believe in (and teach) a solid approach to music fundamentals, I also believe that improvisation is an extremely important part of the learning process. Students learn to abandon fear and embrace creativity and find their own unique musicality in the process. They develop fine-tuned auditory skills, build imagination and curiosity, and it gives them a sense of achievement and personal fulfillment when they’ve created something that’s theirs.
What excites you about The Academy at Penguin Hall?
APH is different than anywhere I’ve taught before. Obviously the building itself is beautiful, which immediately changes your view of the regular workday right away. But more than that, it’s the culture of kindness and compassion that really drew me here. The staff, faculty, and students all really embrace that and lift each other up. I know that every day I come to work, I’ll love what I’m doing, love the people I’m working with, and I’ll laugh and share a smile for a bit part of the day.
Share something interesting about yourself.
I am originally from Southern California, where I taught middle school band and performed with The Ontario Chaffey Showband and the vocal trio The Lemon Drops. I have toured extensively on the East Coast and in California and have performed with Wayne Brady, The Persuasions, Rockapella, and was also a featured performer at the Boston Esplanade. I was the featured vocalist on the popular video game Titan Quest, as well as the featured vocalist on the educational rap series Rhythm, Rhyme, Results (www.educationalrap.com). I have been featured in The Boston Globe, on NPR, Chronicle, and on ABC’s “The Revolution” with Tim Gunn. I am absolutely crazy about my dog Ella, I swing and latin dance, and I love to play board games!
Ms. Soderquist did her undergraduate work in Music Performance at the University of Massachusetts Lowell with continued studies at Berklee College of Music. She’s an award-winning vocalist, songwriter, and arranger and is a member of ASCAP and the Massachusetts Music Educator Association.