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Farmer embraces last days of student teaching term

Kylie King
Miss Farmer conducts sectionals with the percussion and the brass.

Nearing the end of her student teaching term, Miss Elena Maria Farmer bids farewell to the band classes that encouraged her growth while creating memories that will last a lifetime. 

The Woodhaven High School bands welcomed Miss Farmer in August of 2023, as she began her student teaching at marching band pre-camp. She will finish her term, on December 16th and will occasionally come back to sub, as well as to conduct the winter concert, on Tuesday, December 19th. 

With graduation in eyesight, Miss Farmer reflects on her future and contemplates how she will continue engagement in music and her community through playing her French horn and teaching. She explains, “I am applying to graduate school right now, with the aim of playing my french horn professionally and earning a masters degree in the process”, while also stating, “I like the idea of working with older students, possibly at an upper secondary or university level or having my own private studio.”

One only has to know what they truly love in order to take the first step in their future, which is what Miss Farmer acknowledges. Her love for music sparked from the very beginning, in fifth grade band, and grew over time, eventually becoming more prominent over her original career idea of becoming a history teacher. Miss Farmer recalled, “I had a weird epiphany. I was in a band one day and suddenly thought, ‘I don’t want this to ever end’, so I decided to study music and without knowing it, I lucked out with one of the best schools of music in the state.”

Getting a full-ride scholarship to Central Michigan University, CMU seemed like the financial choice, however, her time at CMU gave Miss Farmer more than what she bargained for. Miss Farmer reminisced, “I really enjoyed the relationships I had there with my professors, with my peers. Everyone was supportive of each other’s personal and professional goals, as well as caring about each other as individuals, not just as musicians. The level of artistry at CMU was (and is) phenomenal, and it was a privilege to be able to study there.”

During her studies at the university, Miss Farmer got the most experience with her student teaching term, under the mentorship of Woodhaven High School’s Director of Bands, Mr. Faryniarz. Miss Farmer expressed, “It’s hard to see that at the moment because there are such small changes, but they amount to something so big over time.” Her time with the band, since beginning in August with the WMB, has impacted both her and her students, making this goodbye a bittersweet one.

When asked if she could say goodbye to her students, Miss Farmer said; “It’s been a phenomenal semester, and I literally could not have done it without you all. I am very thankful for how welcoming, supportive and just excited you have been to have me here. It has been a privilege to work and make music with every single one of you, and seeing you grow as musicians and people has been absolutely amazing. It’s been great getting to know all of you, and best of luck in the future!”

Even though Miss Farmer is leaving, her courage, dedication, and smile will always echo through the band family, as she made sure to leave the band better than she found it. 

Miss Farmer participates in the band with her French horn. (Kylie King)
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