Ms Faith Klein joins the teaching team.
City Campus welcomes Ms Faith Klein to its music department, and is delighted to enjoy the benefits of her 30 years of teaching experience. Read on to hear Ms Klein’s story, and see her take on Shrewsbury’s philosophy to inspire lifelong learning:
What is your nationality and background?
I am South African and have been teaching for many years. After teaching in my home country for 7 years, I have since enjoyed a multi-national teaching career in Botswana, Brunei, Kazakhstan and now in Thailand.
What inspired you to become a teacher? What do love about teaching?
Teaching is in my blood. My parents were both teachers and so too are many members of my extended family. What do I love about teaching? There is nothing more gratifying than seeing your students put into practice what you have taught them. An Early Years teacher friend of mine once shared a story with me - After many weeks of teaching phonics and sounding out letters, reading simple words, a little person came to her very excitedly and shouted: “Ms Cooke, Ms Cooke! The sounds are talking in my head!” What is more rewarding than that?
What have been your proudest moments in your music career so far? What challenges have you overcome?
There are so many proud moments that it is always hard to isolate any particular ones. It is always a joy for me to see my pupils achieve great things, for example, I have watched some of my Year 6 & 7 recorder students passed their Grade 8 music examination with Distinction. They had started learning the recorder in class very much like what the children at Shrewsbury are doing now.
I have had many proud moments when I started teaching piano through the Suzuki method, which encourages children to play by ear without music. It amazes me each time I witness three and four year olds play the piano for 20-30 minutes continuously without sheet music. I have experienced this with so many of my students. It is amazing what we humans are capable of.
Challenges in life will always be there. I have overcome many and no doubt there will be many more to come. My philosophy is to roll with life’s punches. I do not take myself too seriously and I have the ability to laugh at myself.
One of the things I do is, when I lie in bed at night, just before drifting off to sleep, I will ask myself, “What have I learnt today?” I firmly believe that each of us should learn something new every day. We must be life-long learners.
On this quest to learn something new every day, I started as an adult to learn to play the violin. When I finished my Grade 8 exam, I branched off to learn the clarinet and reached Grade 6. Last year, I started learning to play the cello. I simply love the instrument and am just about to resume lessons with a teacher here in Bangkok.
How and when did you find yourself in Bangkok?
As part of my philosophy in life to try to keep an open mind and have a sense of humour, I believe nothing in life in random, and everything is connected. I did not consciously decide to move to Bangkok, and yet, here I am! I was delighted to take up the opportunity to teach music at City Campus, and I am looking forward to many successes to come with my wonderful students.
What do you enjoy most about your role at City Campus? What have been your highlights this term?
Our students at City Campus are fantastic. They are very responsive and they work like sponges - ready to absorb my teaching in music and performance. I have had many highlights since joining the school. Our choirs have outdone themselves on numerous occasions. Every time our young singers perform, I am bursting with pride.
Year 3 are progressing fantastically in their descant recorder lessons. The recorder is an important instrument to teach in terms of mastering rhythm, composing and musical experimentation. I have been very impressed to my students playing pieces confidently from start to finish.
At City Campus this term, we’ve also launched Foundation Strings, the school’s extra-curricular violin and cello club. I am filled with excitement for our upcoming debut performance for our school community.
What do you like to do in Bangkok when you’re not working? What do you love about Bangkok?
I spend lots of time practising my cello. I enjoy reading and sewing. I like going to Lumpini Park early on Sunday mornings to go and run. I also spend many hours chatting to my husband and my children who are spread across the world.
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