MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — WCCO This Morning visited Anoka to surprise a teacher who is getting kids to give orchestra a try.

Mr. Jesse Peterson is the Director of Orchestras at Anoka Middle School for the Arts.

If you have an older sibling in Peterson’s class, chances are they will convince you to take orchestra, just so he will be your teacher!

Students say he is a fun teacher and the feeling is mutual.

“What I love so much is I love the excitement level,” he said. “I get the students when they are introduced to the violin, viola and cello, so I get to see them when their interest is at the peak level.”

Peterson’s own interest for music has been high from the very beginning.

“My mom would say whenever she put music on I had to move to that as a baby, and when I got to middle school I had to collect music and trying to learn how to play that music with whatever music we had around the house,” he said.

But even so, teaching music wasn’t what he always wanted to do.

“Becoming a teacher was a complete accident for me,” he said. “When I went to college originally I chose a number of different majors and then I found that none of them were a good fit.

He says he naturally spent his free time doing music activities and tutoring students in music.

“I was connecting the dots and I thought ‘you know what I think there is a lesson to be learned here’,” he said.

So he followed his heart, and never had a regret.

“It’s just so fun for me to take them through those first three years and for me to see grow from that first day when they can barely pluck a string to now us doing this complicated music that we are getting up to now,” Peterson said.

Kim Johnson

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