TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Christie Beasley is passionate about helping students find their voices

Published 7:45 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Christie Beasley teaches music and science while directing the St. Aloysius choirs and working on the sound team and as the liturgical music and dual-credit music appreciation instructor. She has found teaching in multiple departments has helped her students not only find their voice in music, but in the sciences as well.

She hopes that if students see her stepping out of her comfort zone, it will encourage them to do so as well.

Beasley is a Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year finalist.

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The Chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the Chamber Luncheon in February.

The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union.

“I believe if you can make a sound with your vocal chords you can sing,” Beasley said. “My students are not supposed to be good at their talent yet. Yet being the key word.” 

One of her favorite things to do with students is the “Hey, Jude” warm-up.

The warm-up teaches the students that they can change their voices in different ways together and it creates a lot of laughter and confidence in the classroom.

Each year around the Super Bowl, she teaches a lesson about adjudication.

She tasks her students with using their listening skills to narrow down national anthem performances from the last 16 Super Bowls.

They analyze what the text means and if the performance value expresses the true patriotic meaning of the song.

“The adjudication lesson is my way of connecting my students with the world around them, especially the musical world, ” Beasley said. “The lesson involves different genres of music and how different political climates affect the way the song is received and even delivered.”

When asked how she incorporates measures to improve student achievement in the classroom, Beasley said, “I try to move students to different formations when singing to allow them to hear each other in new ways. It is important for students to understand how their section fits in with the other sections and how their individual voice fits into the choir as a whole.  Sometimes standing by the right person makes a section stronger. Even hearing that someone is struggling can be constructive. Helping students to listen outside of themselves is so important for the balance of the choir.”

Her most memorable moment in teaching was when she helped a student discover their future career path.

“I have had several students pursue musical pathways but this was the first time I had a STEM student be inspired to pursue theirs,” Beasley noted.

To sum everything up she just said, “I teach because helping others find themselves through music is my passion.”