Grieser, Gabriel - Music

Gabe Grieser, "Mr. G"


Mr G

This is my fourth year as Suquamish Elementary's Music Specialist. Students at Suquamish have music for forty minutes every third day in a rotating schedule with PE and library. Students learn repertoire and play games to learn musical skills and understand music theory. All students sing and play Orff pitched percussion instruments (e.g. xylophones) and various drums and percussion instruments. Fourth graders learn to play the recorder, and fourth and fifth graders learn to play ukulele. This year choir is offered to interested students in third through fifth grade on Tuesdays. For the third consecutive year, fourth graders also performed on recorders with the Seattle Symphony at Benaroya Hall.

I come from a musical family. Two of my grandparents were music teachers in South Dakota. I was born in Seattle and attended Seattle Public Schools. I graduated from the University of Washington and earned a teaching certificate from Western Washington University. I took piano lessons and one year of violin as a child but was most captivated by the drum set. I have been playing drums for twenty four years, and I also play guitar, bass, piano, and several other instruments.

I enjoy teaching elementary music for a number of reasons. Music has been shown to integrate the hemispheres of the brain and build the brain in ways no other discipline quite duplicates. It is also an opportunity for students who may not be successful in other subjects to find something they excel at. Skills developed in the music classroom like coordination, perseverance, and teamwork transfer to other disciplines like sports and other academic areas. Despite the conventional wisdom that there are "no jobs in music," there will always be a number of jobs in music ranging from piano-tuning to music journalism to guitar-building. Even if learning music did not have all these benefits, music is everywhere, music is fun, and music makes everything better.

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