Profile of the Month | Bill Nave
Bill Nave is not your ordinary Elementary music teacher who’s work day ends when the school bell rings. Mr. Nave is a true musician and he continues to hone his own talents with the likes of the Houston Symphony, while fostering the spirit of music in the next generation. At present Bill Nave enjoys inspiring many children the power of music at Briargrove Elementary School in Houston ISD. Lights Camera Action Houston Society News Editor, Ruchi Mukherjee sits and talks with Mr. Nave to see what inspires him to inspire others.
I grew up singing and dancing. I started guitar lessons and played trombone in the school band in 5th grade. As a High School freshmen I decided I wanted to study music in college so I started taking piano lessons. I also played in a rock and roll band in High school. I have a Bachelor of Music Education and a Masters of Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford OK, and a Master of Music from Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth Texas. I have taught music from Preschool through College in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas.
Who inspired you to learn music?
My band director was a big influence on me as a music teacher. Also, our church organist was my piano teacher and her husband taught me to play guitar.
How does music affect children and what suggestions do you have for the younger generation of aspiring musicians?
Music ties into the 5 senses in all of us. So, I think that is why we (especially children) love music. And most kids are natural performers. They just need someone to guide them. In my classes we sing, dance and play instruments; so we do musical activities that are very active. But, my main goal is to make “musical people” – those who appreciate, enjoy and respect the art of music making.
What do you enjoy the most in teaching children music?
Sharing the joy that comes from working together and sharing our music with others. I think children learn best then there is an element of play to their learning. That’s why I teach using an approach to music education developed by Carl Orff, the German composer and educator.
Tell us about your experience working with the Houston Symphony.
I’m the Artistic Director for The Houston Bronze Ensemble (www.houstonbronze.com); the symphony called a friend saying they needed a handbell choir for their Family Christmas concert and he told them to call us. It was a BIG honor to play with the symphony, they are just a world-class ensemble. We spend a few weeks working on the music (along with music for our regular Christmas concert). We had a dress rehearsal Friday morning then two concerts back to back on Saturday AM (Dec 13). The conductor was wonderful and made us feel so welcome, a part of the ensemble. Then we walked out on the stage with a full audience; it was one of the musical highlights of my life!