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Cory Cunningham

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Mr. Cunningham first became my band teacher when I was in 7th grade. Before then, I had been in band for three years, and had had three very different band teachers. I was not motivated and rarely practiced, and it showed on my playing ability. These types of things took me harder to learn in the first place, and with teachers that were not willing to help me, I did not succeed.

There were times that I wanted to quit band all together. I stayed with it, however, and continue to struggle through playing the clarinet. Although I was never last chair, I was always pretty close. My 6th grade teacher was not willing to help, so I say no improvement.

Then, in 7th grade, came a new band teacher. I had spent the entire summer worrying about who my new band teacher would be, and if the new teacher would be helpful. This teacher gave us a quiz on himself, with some hilarious answers. We learned that he played trombone, and had a dog his wife made him buy that ate all his stuff.

I first really got to know him when I interviewed him for the school newspaper one day during lunch. He not only answered my questions, he also encouraged me to try my best. When I had chair tests soon after, I had practiced for hours, and it paid off. I went from being nearly last chair to being the highest 7th grader.

Numerous times, Mr. Cunningham has stayed after school to help me with audition music, or similar things. Each time, he is in no rush to finish, and is always patient with me. This help has had a profound effect on me. This year, I am first chair, something that in 6th grade was something I never even considered. I have been to honour band, and have become comfortable with playing solos.

Mr. Cunningham has been more than just a teacher to me. He has been a friend. In the mornings before school, several other students and I hang out in the band room, and follow around Mr. Cunningham. He is entertaining and we can go to him for advice. He tries to stay hip and find out the current trends from us (although some people may nopt cooperate), and we learn life lessons from him. He calls these things Life Lesson number [random number].

The school band has improved a lot since he became our conductor. Last year at out spring concert, we received what the principal called the first standing ovation for band in school history.

I think that Mr. Cunningham is a phenomenal teacher. Myself, and many other people in the band program have improved greatly since he became teacher. The band has grown, and we now have a well balanced band.





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