MISSOULA – This Arts and Education report features a Missoula County band teacher who has earned the right to be called one of the best.
“Each year, School, Band and Orchestra magazine comes out with a report titled, “50 directors who make a difference,” teacher Randy Zschaechner said.
The main purpose of the report is to shine a light on outstanding music educators from across the United States, and this year Zschaechner made the list.
“It was a huge honor, I found out by chance one of my old students got in touch with me and let me know I had been nominated and they received word I had been selected as the Montana representative,” Zschaechner said. “So it was quite an honor to be able to represent both Missoula and Montana for that.
Zschaechner started his teaching career in Arlee 13 years ago and then moved to Missoula where he has been teaching band ever since.
Talking with Zschaechner, he says one of his main goals is to create a classroom where students can have fun, feel comfortable and enjoy learning music.
“Probably the thing I most enjoy is the fact I get to work with these kids every day and help them see what they can do, not necessarily to see what they can’t do, but they come to my class to see what they can do,” Zschaechner said.
Zschaechner uses his time in the classroom to not only teach music but also teach life skills as well — as so many great educators do.
“When I first started teaching I thought, I am going to get out there and I am going to create professional musicians,” Zschaechner said.
“Then I realized 99% of them aren’t going to do that. So I use my classroom as a vehicle to teach them just different lessons in life, hard work, dedication, persistence and teamwork,” he concluded.
Reporting by Lewis Dortch for MTN News