Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spotlight on Allison Novak

Instructor Allison Novak, right, teaches music classes for ages two and up.

Think about your favorite song, and how it makes you feel. Think about how music permeates our lives every day without us thinking about it.

Whether you crank the tunes on the radio to minimize stress while you’re stuck in traffic, or if you enjoy a live Broadway or opera performance at a theater, music has a way of touching our lives, says Allison Novak, music department manager for the Patel Conservatory.

“Music is something that everybody can relate to. It’s in everyone’s lives whether they realize it or not,” said Allison.

For Allison, music has been a major part of her life as long as she can remember. She listened to big band and orchestra music with her grandpa when she was little, sang in her school and church choirs throughout her school years, and was active in musical theater productions in high school.

“Music is just something I’ve always been doing,” she said.

Allison received her Bachelor of Music in vocal performance and commercial music from Millikin University in Illinois. She has performed professionally as a member of The Orlando Chamber Singers and spent five years working at Walt Disney World where she performed daily for thousands of guests.

She is currently a member of the Opera Tampa Chorus and can be seen this weekend in Opera Tampa’s A Masked Ball, playing Feb. 7 - 10 in Ferguson Hall at the Straz Center.

As the instructor of our preschool through fourth grade music classes at the Conservatory and music classes at our partnership schools, Allison says the classes encourage academic learning as well as creative thinking.

“Music lets your mind explore places and opens up new ways of thinking,” she said.

In addition to teaching kids about music terminology, pitch, rhythm and other music concepts, Allison tries to incorporate other academic subjects into her classes.

For example, in the preschool classes, she includes songs about the alphabet sounds and seasonal activities.

“In one of my older classes, we took math problems and turned them into music notes...adding quarter and half notes,” she said. “I try to do something different every week and make it fun for them.”

For more information about the Patel Conservatory’s music classes for ages two and up, please click here or call 813-222-1002.

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