ANOKA, Minnesota (WCCO) — It is that time of the week when we surprise WCCO’s Excellent Educator.
Andrea Whitcomb got her start in teaching music 17 years ago to high schoolers. But she made the switch to teach the younger kids at Lincoln Elementary School for the Arts in Anoka. She says she loves the challenge of introducing music to students for the first time.
It’s why Whitcomb is this week’s Excellent Educator.
As an elementary school music specialist, the instruments Whitcomb’s students use vary widely. She shows us how she uses a “shaky egg” to teach kindergarteners.
“We’re working on coordination right now being able to toss and catch and so it is this left brain-right brain connection while reading a poem about eggs landing on our head,” she said.
From Kindergarteners and their eggs, to orchestra and band with her older students. Whitcomb loves teaching anything that involves music.
“Music has always been a part of my life, my mom was a musician, my dad, all by brothers and sisters sing and play, so I think it was just a natural progression,” she said.
Whitcomb has an educator in her life to thank for giving her a nudge.
“I had a band director in high school who said you know you should really consider this you seem to really enjoy it,” she said.
She wouldn’t be an Anoka resident, if she also didn’t enjoy a good Halloween costume. Around school hers are legendary.
There’s the eyeball head, the year she went as a wizard, and the Lego Wonder Woman costume.
Her husband is an artist and creates the costumes for her. Of course Anoka is the Halloween capital of the world, and she walks on the parade route every year.
Whitcomb just likes to have fun. And in her class music serves that purpose and a whole lot more.
“I hope [music] gives them confidence that they can do anything in life to be able to approach something new and say I got this,” she said.