Faculty member Rebecca Raffaelli says that hearing from former students is a wonderful perk of her job teaching piano here at NMS. She remembers her student Megan Prescott-Ezickson as a, kind, eager and undaunted musician, soaking up knowledge every chance she got and accepting challenges without hesitation.
“I remember her humility and her open-mindedness,” Rebecca says. “And she was always enthusiastic about new ideas and new music.”
So it doesn’t surprise her that Megan is now teaching music to K-8 graders in a Philadelphia public school, utilizing her energy and dedication to get children excited about music in new and creative ways. When we checked in with Megan we found her just as humble and kind as Rebecca remembers. And there’s no question she’s accomplishing amazing things in her role as a music teacher!
After getting an undergrad degree in Music Education and a masters degree in Music History, Megan was hired three years ago at a school in Philadelphia. At the time, the school didn’t really have a music education program in place. She helped create the program that exists today, teaching general music as well as vocal music to elementary and middle school children.
She’s gone above and beyond her duties there, starting a choir with her middle school music students, as well as identifying several gifted music students who she works with during their lunch breaks; they’re studying vocal technique, harmony and how to put a polished song together from start to finish! Plus, she and her colleagues also started an after school drama program last year with performances twice a year. Megan’s time at NMS played a big role in her important relationship to music and teaching today, she says. As a child and then teenager, she studied with Rebecca, as well as with Jody Rowitsch, participated in a few ensembles with Marshall Barron and worked as a counselor for Audubon Arts (something her sister, Kristen, did, too!).
“I just really loved the community,” she says of NMS. “There were so many options.” She remembers spending Saturday mornings there as a teenager…and not minding that one bit!
“I had so many opportunities to learn in different ways,” she says. Her NMS experience has provided some truly valuable skills for her current job. When her students ask her to play a song, for instance, she can often deliver — after hours spent listening carefully to music with her NMS teachers, she can play by ear!
“I can really think on my feet,” Megan says, thanks to the multi-faceted teaching style at NMS. “I can always figure out something to work on with my students.”
Rebecca says it’s easy to imagine Megan being so successful in her teaching role, or any other. “I can see how people would benefit from her skills, her kind-heartedness and her enthusiasm.” And Megan has nothing but positive words for her former piano teacher: “She’s the best!”
This year marks Rebecca’s 30th year teaching at NMS. Please consider honoring her longevity and commitment by making a gift to NMS in her honor.
And we encourage all NMS alumni like Megan to stay in touch. Visit our alumni Facebook or webpage to let us know what you’re up to!