Westerly Elementary music teacher, Carrie Engelbrecht, passed away recently, leaving a legacy of music education that included learning about singing, playing instruments, performing in different venues and writing original music.
Her students were third-and-fourth-graders, and Mrs. Engelbrecht’s expectations and guidance gave children a foundation suitable to take them in any musical direction in the future. She let them explore different types of music from a variety of cultures. She opened doors to possibilities by exposing them to visiting artists and performances beyond the school walls.
Mrs. Engelbrecht won a grant from the Bay Village Education Foundation that brought in a visiting artist who helped students write lyrics and music, and then to perform, for the first-ever Westerly Song.
Thanks to Mrs. Engelbrecht’s efforts, Westerly students were able to join with other area elementary vocalists as part of the Oberlin Choristers Honor Choir. They rehearsed after school and then rehearsed with the other singers before performing at Finney Chapel, Oberlin College and Conservatory. This was an amazing choral experience for students so young.
Mrs. Engelbrecht ended many a student performance by thanking the audiences of mostly parents by declaring, “I have the best job in the world!” Her students and their parents would agree that they had one of the best teachers in the world!