Coon Rapids H.S. Choir Teacher Hits Right Note With Students

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — We’re half way through the school week, so we’d like to take a break and thank a teacher who is doing excellent work in the classroom.

Ms. Amy Johnson at Coon Rapids High School is hitting the right note with students. The choir teacher not only makes students sound their best, but feel their best with a saying she tells them every Friday. It’s what makes her this week’s Excellent Educator.

Johnson is a on a mission to give her students a voice through music.

“Music has unspeakable power and has the ability to connect us in a way together that we can’t do through words<’ she said. “Music has been powerful for hundreds of years and when we sign together we learn about each other in a new way."

She began her teaching career at Coon Rapids High School 11 years ago.

“Always at Coon Rapids, proud to be a Cardinal," Johnson said.

She took a break only to get her master’s degree at University of Cambridge in England. There for a year, she worked with conductors in cathedral choir setting and developed an appreciation for music education in the United States.

“In Europe and in England where a lot of people sing, singing is not part of the school day or playing an instrument is not part of the school day,” she said. “If you want to do that you have to do it outside of school or you have to pay and here we provide it and we get to do it every day for free. It made me appreciate that this is my job I get paid to do it every day and it’s really special and unique."

Johnson seizes on every opportunity to make an impact in her student's lives. Through music, and through what she calls Friday truths.

"We know there are three truths that everyone in their life needs to hear but especially students at this age," she said.

At the end of every week, the students leave her class hearing three things.

“Every Friday we say you are not alone, you are enough and you are loved and those are words we live by in this choir room," Johnson said.

More from Kim Johnson
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