Teacher Honored For Dedication To Students

By KBJR News 1

September 14, 2010 Updated Sep 14, 2010 at 3:35 PM CDT

There are thousands of great school teachers here in the Northland and once a month we honor one of them with a Golden Apple award.

This month's recipient "raw-sins"rosins...up her bow to keep Cloquet's Middle School orchestra on tempo.

Dave Anderson has her story.

Just a few years ago, Tami Nelson was part of this orchestra.

Now, she's conducting.

The Cloquet native says the orchestra is one of the tougher disciplines in a music curriculum.

"Strings is the most difficult instrument to play because of the multi-tasking it requires and the intonation it requires with the fingering."

Ms. Nelson keeps her middle school musicians on time and in tune through patient mentoring and that earned her Apple nomination from her students.

"She's like a second mom you could say. She's always there for you and she helps out a lot."

That help translates into skills that can be used for other classes.

"It's not just playing music. Music refines math and reading. They have to count and divide and perform. It makes them stronger."

And it makes the students want to appreciate fine music even after their middle school days are done.

Most say they want to keep their fingers on the strings into adulthood.

"I'm hoping to if I can. Yeah, I will!"

That dedication to duty and Debussy and other composers pleases Ms. Nelson.

She tries to make this fine but difficult art fun.

"If they're not enjoying themselves it's not worth doing so it's my job to make sure they are learning and enjoying."

In Cloquet, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.