PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Music is known for improving one’s mood, reducing stress and improving communication, things any of use can benefit from.
Those are some of the reasons Wendy Kittlaus enjoys teaching chorus to students at Topsail Middle School.
“It’s an amazing job,” she said. “I love it.”
A graduate of Ithaca College in New York, Kittlaus has taught music for 17 years.
“I’ve wanted to be a music teacher since I was in seventh grade, probably because my music teacher was so amazing, I just love music and I wanted to do what she did,” Kittlaus recalled. “She was just an amazing teacher and I loved how I felt when I was in her class.”
Helping students discover musical talent they may not know exists is another reason Kittlaus enjoys teaching music.
According to Kittlaus, the ‘magic’ of her job is “getting them to relax and find their voice and enjoy the sound of their voice and what their voice sounds like when it joins other voices.”
In our WWAY Teacher of the Week nomination form, a student wrote: “She is not just a music teacher, she is a second mom to some students. She has inspired so many students to follow their dreams.”
Topsail Middle School Principal Jake Lawrence said Kittlaus is very enthusiastic about reaching students through music education.
“She loves teaching music and that enthusiasm transcends into her students,” Lawrence said. “They come to class excited to learn different pieces of music and to learn from her.”
In addition to teaching at Topsail Middle, Kittlaus also splits her instructional time teaching at nearby Surf City Middle School.
“It’s a lot to do two concerts and two talent shows,” Kittlaus said. “It’s a lot to fit in and juggle but I love it, it’s my heart.”
Despite managing an intense rehearsal and performance schedule at two schools, Kittlaus said she wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“Watching the children after you’ve taught everything, after they’ve worked so hard, watching them at the concert… and just to see that on their faces that pride that they have and just listening to kids sing, it just does my heart good,” she said. They’re just amazing.”