Get to Know New Orchestra Teacher Ms. Mac Lean


Photo by Senia Golisek

Ms. Mac Lean: Orchestra Teacher

If you haven’t seen Ms. Mac Lean around the school, chances are you have heard her. Ms. Mac Lean is the happiest, most positive, loudest and bubbliest teacher you will probably ever meet. She has such a positive personality that she makes a teaching a bunch of twelve and thirteen year old girls look like a breeze. And class feels like a fun hang-out time with comfortable chairs and relaxing lighting throughout the room. Ms. Mac Lean feels like a person you hangout with, not a teacher. If it is a slow day and we are all tired, she will give us time to relax and talk in-between playing songs. In short, Ms. Mac Lean is probably one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.

Question 1: When did you first teach and where did you teach?

Ha ha! I first started teaching privately, little bits during high school. I never thought I would be a teacher. I was focused on being a performer. Later, after graduate school an old teacher of mine asked me why I was not teaching. I told her I hated children! She said, “No you don’t! Come teach with my summer program at MacPhail, you’ll be great!” I did and I loved it, and I went on to get a Masters in Education and the rest is history!

Question 2: How did you get into orchestra?

I saw someone playing violin when I was younger and I was totally into it! I  wanted to play! My Mom said it was a breakable instrument and I was too wild of a child for a breakable instrument. I kept on her and she eventually let me try playing. I loved it. Orchestra just kinda came with the territory with playing violin. I auditioned for higher level orchestras in junior high and high school and just loved the music and the friends I made who did what I did!

Question 3: How old were you when you first played?

I was ten years old when I started. Kinda late, but again, my Mom didn’t think it was a good idea for me, and I had to prove her wrong!

Question 4: What instrument did you first play?

I first played the trombone. EEeeeekkk!! I have asthma and my Mom thought a wind instrument would strengthen my breathing. I HATED IT!!

Question 5: What instrument is your favorite today?

Well, I do love the violin, but I really love cello! If I had to do it over, I might do cello. You get to sit down. It’s like a big teddy bear with warm lower notes.

Question 6: Why do you like playing instruments?

I love all the music you can play with violin. I feel like it’s an instrument that is next to the human voice. It can be so expressive.

Question 7: How did you end up at BSM?

One of my former students went here and played in the orchestra. When the position opened up and she heard about it, she called me right away and let me know that she thought I would be great at BSM.

Question 8: What is your favorite part of teaching orchestra?

Getting to know my students!   I really love my students!

7th Grade Orchestra class

Question 9: How long have you been teaching?

I have been teaching since 1992.

Question 10: Would you like to keep teaching here? If yes, why?

I would…. I like the students and the people I work with. They are good happy fun people! If that changed, my decision to stay or leave might change.

From this interview, I hope that you have gotten to know Ms. Mac Lean a little better, and I think you now understand how positive and happy she is. If you get a chance to meet her in the hallways, I guarantee you will hear her before you actually see her.