'Practicing until you get it perfect'

Warwick. Superintendent’s Spotlight: Jacqueline Rodriguez, Park Avenue Elementary School.

| 17 Jan 2020 | 03:15

Fourth grader Jackie Rodgriguez knows that practice makes perfect. Learning the clarinet has been a great experience for her at Park Avenue Elementary School.

“Music is great," Jackie said, "because you can always just keep practicing until you get it perfect.”

Her teacher, Ryan Muehlbauer, noted that Jackie “thought clarinet would be the most challenging. Jackie decided against other instruments, such as trumpet, because they had minimal buttons or moving parts.

"Clarinet, on the other hand, has a large number of keys and levers and looks like it would be an adventure to learn," Muehlbauer added. "She is right. She is well on her way toward gaining a mastery of the instrument.”

Muehlbauer also notes that Jackie is a student who likes to challenge herself and go one step further.

“Before winter recess, groups at Park Avenue were performing holiday songs and some students performed as soloists in the songs," the teacher noted. "Jackie took the initiative to learn an additional song, 'The Dreidel Song,' to perform as a solo.”

Sometimes the simplest things are the most fun. As Jackie describes it: “What I like most about the clarinet is you get to make a lot of noise and the noise is fun to make because it is really loud. If you learn to play the notes really fast, you can make the music that you want to make.”

But besides having fun with the music program, Jackie is also dedicated and focused.

As Muehlbauer pointed out: “Jackie is super-talented and hard-working...she quickly established herself as a role model both in the clarinet section and the band. She has a quiet but firm demeanor and always gives her best effort. The clarinet lesson group at Park Avenue is a lovely group of students who support each other and work hard together. When one person masters a skill, they are all eager to share with the group to make sure everyone is able to play.”

Jackie describes this collaboration with her peers as one of the most enjoyable aspects of playing an instrument.

“It is great to work with the kids in my music group," she said, "because we support one another and help each other with mistakes.”

Interim Principal John Russo added: “In the short time I’ve known Jackie, she is always willing to put her best foot forward and help people. Although she is not sure yet and has a lot of time to plan, she shared with me that one day, she may want to teach music and help others learn about notes as well as the concept that working hard can always help one perfect his or her work!”

“Superintendent’s Spotlight” features students who reach goals, achieve accomplishments, face challenges and/or are role models to their peers.