Marsha Taylor offers change in key for choir

Lauryn Uhlenberg

Richard Mendiola
Volunteer vocal instructor Marsha Taylor assists Wes Hambright with warming up the third period choir class.

As the bell for third period rings, volunteer vocal instructor Marsha Taylor greets choir students and begins the class with vocal exercises to warm up their voices.

As a volunteer vocal specialist, Taylor helps students during the third period choir class to expand and improve their singing ability. With her musical education and experience teaching performing arts and conducting, Taylor provides additional knowledge and mastery to the class that is greatly beneficial to the learning environment.

“After retiring, I had a lot to contribute,” Taylor said. “I didn’t realize I would miss the connection with giving and receiving that kind of knowledge, because students here really do inspire me as well.”

This is Taylor’s second and most involved year volunteering at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School. Taylor collaborated with Hambright to assist in the World Music Day performance that many students and families watched on Oct. 26. After helping students prepare for the music show, Taylor currently aids students three days a week until the end of the school year.

“The rewarding part is that I can work my entire career, 34 years, and retire and volunteer to do the same thing,” Taylor said. “I think it’s just awesome, who gets to do that?”

Common focal points which Taylor stresses with students include the use of breath, vowels, and posture. Through teaching different techniques in each of the three areas, Taylor works with students to aid them in their vocal abilities.

“She made me realize that breath is really the key to hitting higher notes and sounding more resonant,” junior Jared Medrano said. “She also puts heavy emphasis on pronunciation in singing which has helped me immensely as a singer.”

Taylor enjoys the time she spends with the students and puts a lot of focus on developing confidence in their improving skill. To Taylor, it’s amazing to follow each student’s singing journey and watch their growing potential and self-assurance.

“It’s fun and the kids are having fun,” Taylor said. “Whenever you have a group of high school kids having fun, someone’s doing something right.”