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OMTA-SouthWest District Member Spotlight: Darlene Suggs

In the realm of education, few professions evoke as much passion and dedication as that of a music teacher.

Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with Darlene, long time member of our OhioMTA-SW and a seasoned music educator whose journey from classroom instruction to private studio proprietorship offers a wealth of insights and inspiration.

Q: Can you take us back to the moment when you decided to pursue a career in teaching?

Darlene: Certainly. My journey into teaching began with a simple act of helping a classmate with 3-column multiplication in fourth grade. That experience ignited a passion for sharing knowledge and guiding others, which eventually led me to pursue a career in education.

Q: What prompted your transition from teaching in schools to establishing your own private studio?

Darlene: After teaching chorus in high school and stepping in to teach math when budget constraints affected school programs, I realized the potential for a more personalized approach to music education. With the birth of my first child, I saw an opportunity to create a space where I could tailor lessons to meet the individual needs and interests of students, thus leading to the establishment of my private studio.

Q: Your dedication to music is evident not only in your career but also in your personal life. Can you share with us your favorite genres and artists?

Darlene: Absolutely. I find solace in a diverse range of music, from the classical melodies aired on WGUC to the timeless compositions of Billy Joel and the spiritual resonance of Rich Mullins. And of course, no playlist is complete without the iconic soundtracks of the original Star Wars saga.

Q: Beyond your professional pursuits, how do you unwind on your days off?

Darlene: I prioritize quality time with loved ones and activities that nourish the soul. Whether it's embarking on day trips with my husband, enjoying a round of par-3 golf with girlfriends, or immersing myself in the enchanting world of literature, relaxation is an essential component of maintaining balance.

Q: As a seasoned educator, what advice do you have for aspiring music teachers?

Darlene: I would encourage them to actively engage in professional development opportunities and networking events offered by esteemed organizations such as OhioMTA-Southwest. These platforms not only enhance skills and knowledge but also facilitate invaluable connections within the music education community.

Q: Reflecting on your journey, what is one piece of advice that has had a profound impact on your life?

Darlene: A fellow college student once recommended that I read C.S. Lewis's "Mere Christianity," and it truly changed my perspective in profound ways. It underscored the importance of seeking wisdom and understanding in both personal and professional endeavors.

Q: Lastly, could you share with us a fear you've had to overcome and a skill you've yet to master?

Darlene: Driving on curvy wooded roads in the dark has always been a source of apprehension for me, particularly due to the fear of encountering animals. As for a skill I've yet to master, I must confess that producing sound on a flute continues to elude me, serving as a humbling reminder of the endless opportunities for growth and learning.

In conclusion, Darlene's journey as a music educator embodies the essence of dedication, passion, and continuous self-improvement.

From humble beginnings in the classroom to the establishment of a thriving private studio, her commitment to nurturing the talents of others serves as an inspiration to educators and aspiring musicians alike.

We are so grateful to have Darlene as not only an active member, but also a board member whose input is invaluable. Thank you Darlene!


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