Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson

School & School System Where You Work

Jenkins and Oakwood Elementary, Hickory Public Schools

Number of Years Teaching


Teaching Area(s)


Grade Level


What do you love most about teaching music?

Getting to share my passion of music with children and watching them grow as little musicians!

Who inspired you to be a music educator and how did they inspire you?

My elementary music teacher, Kim Brown. She taught me it was okay that I was different, because that difference made life more beautiful. Music was something I loved from the time I was a child and Mrs. Brown nurtured it. She taught me to accept it and to let it shape who I was. I am forever grateful for her for not only teaching me music, but also teaching me how to just let music be such a major part of my life. It gave me confidence, support and made me learn to focus on all other subjects just as much as I did on music.

What did you need the most when you started teaching?

I needed resources and support. Being the only music teacher at 2 schools, I felt very alone. I didn’t have many resources or people to talk to, but I let my creativity and what I had help me grow and become a better music teacher. I am still learning and I look forward to growing even more in my career!

Describe the biggest challenge to teaching music education and how you have worked to overcome this challenge?

My biggest challenge to teaching music is that students are very unaware to everything music entails. The radio has really streamlined music and focused on very similar, simple types of music that my students don’t realize how hard it is to play it. Nor do they realize how many types of music there are not just here in America, but throughout the world! I try to overcome this issue by teaching them about different music throughout the world and relating it back to the music they already know. I also usually teach my older students a little more history on the music they listen to so they can see where it actually came from.

How do you advocate for your program?

I advocate for the music program all throughout my district, not just mine. I try to get performances out there for the public to see and I try to get the children to create music not just in my class, but at home with their families too!

What is one piece of advice you would give to beginning teachers?

Ask questions. Talk to people. Let others help you so you can grow and become better musicians, teachers and more! Don’t only depend on your own knowledge!

How do you build relationships with students and parents?

I talk to parents as often as I can. It’s hard not being in one school all the time, so I try to reach out and talk to them whenever I see them! For my students I will always make an effort to get to know them during class. They grow better and care more if they see that you care about them as well as what you are teaching.