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    Name: John Gerald Ryszka
    Email Address: 
    Phone number: 435-654-0604 ext. 3767

    It is exciting to work with students and school faculty alike here at Wasatch High School. For many years I have had a great love for the world of music and the people associated with it.  Helping students become successful in music has brought me great joy. My own personal experiences in education have helped me develop my education philosophy, in that music is a vehicle to bring out the pure and good characteristics contained in each individual. 

    As a small child I had expressed great interest in playing drums. After coaxing my parents many times concerning a drum set, my mother made me one out of old buckets and metal lids (cymbals). I took great pleasure in playing them to the radio.  In middle school I joined band playing my father’s old trumpet. I viewed music as a fun pastime and enjoyed the social aspects of the organization.   In my early years of High School, I auditioned for the Denver Blue Knights Drum and Bugle Corps.   This experience was life altering.  I was amazed by the dedication of the instructors and their wealth of knowledge in the approach to brass playing and performing. I came to love music at a higher level and valued working with dedicated professionals and members in the ensemble.  In greater detail, I began to understand the potential of each individual when focused properly in the right direction. They pushed me to the limits of my mind, body, and spirit to learn how to perform and express the intricacies of the music. I realized that performing in an ensemble and working together to achieve perfection brought me a new level of joy and freedom.  I became more involved in my high school program and had some great opportunities to serve as a section leader and as drum major.  The Blue Knight experience helped me to motivate my peers because I understood their potential and the personal rewards that come from working hard to create music mastery.   

    My experiences in college have had the greatest influence on my views of music and its value in education. Performing in various ensembles has taught me personal integrity, accountability, and how to understand and relate to others.   In performing music there can’t be any amount of pride. It is our own ego that stops us from reaching our potential. True music in its purest form is achieved when performers unselfishly work together to create a musical work of art. Music improves test scores and exercises both logical and creative sides of the brain, but is most important because it allows a person to convey simply who they are through their instrument.  This occurs because music is tied very closely to what a person feels.  A student of music can relate to others better with experiences of this nature. Principles and ideas similar to these have helped shape my philosophy for music education.  I will teach music in its theory, history and many styles but I will also use the class environment to teach students to critically think about what the music is conveying and how it relates to their lives.   The ensemble environment is a place I plan to use to help students be accountable for themselves and to each other.

    I am grateful for the many great teachers I have encountered.  No matter the subject area each has inspired me to work hard and become a better person.  Though their classes were not easy I knew each was passionate about what they taught and cared for each student.  I feel it a privilege to be working in such an important capacity and hope that I may continue to develop the necessary skills of successful teachers.


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