Band program changes key under new instructor

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Band program changes key under new instructor

(CAM MEDRANO / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(CAM MEDRANO / EYE OF THE TIGER)

(CAM MEDRANO / EYE OF THE TIGER)

MEHROZ AKHTAR and DEVON DICKENS

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The Roseville High School band finds itself under new leadership this year. Straight from the K-12 teaching credential program at Sac State, new teacher Michael Austin joined the RHS staff to take over the band program and teach intermediate and advanced guitar. 

According to Austin, his goal when it comes to the band program is to focus on student recruitment, shooting for a program of 100 kids in the next five years. Austin also said he hopes the guitar program will eventually feed into the band program to create a single, cohesive music program. 

“For the band program [I want to] build up the numbers and make a really strong presence on campus and in the community,” Austin said. 

As a young teacher, Austin aims to connect with his students selecting music that strikes a chord with a younger generation. 

“I just try to be real with my students and I don’t want to put any barriers between us to where it’s ‘I’m the teacher you’re the student.’ Our cultural boundaries aren’t that far apart,” Austin said. “So I like to include a lot of culturally relevant pedagogy in my classes.” 

Band student Joey Haight said that Austin is supportive and upholds traditions of the RHS band, such as the pep songs they play at rallies and football games. 

“He’s really nice.  He’s really supportive of what traditions we have previously – he said ‘oh yeah let’s go do those,’” Haight said. “He makes it seem more like a family.”

Originally from southern California, Austin developed a passion of music through his family, where “pretty much everybody played a musical instrument.” Eventually, Austin moved to Central California, looking to further pursue his musical career. Though this is his first teaching job, he has worked as a music instructor before. 

Austin said one of his main worries coming to Roseville was the age difference between himself and the students. However, so far he said he’s starting the year on a high note. 

“When I got here, everybody welcomed me with open arms and I felt at home,” Austin said.