Music teacher Karen Franks shares why she plays it forward

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 6, 2012

Much has been written about the benefits of music education for the children. But, what about the teachers? The Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society asked its After-School Strings teachers why they “play it forward.”
In addition to teaching after-school strings classes, Karen Franks is currently an elementary music specialist for the Rowan-Salisbury School System.
She has also taught middle school band, orchestra, and chorus as well as and high school chorus classes.
She has volunteered assistance with many local bands, including elementary, middle school, high school, and college bands, and has given flute master classes and clinics in several high schools throughout North Carolina and Virginia. Karen can frequently be found playing flute for community events. She plays tenor saxophone with the Salisbury Swing Band and sings with The Concert Choir.
When asked why she “plays it forward,” she replied in this way:
“I have been a music educator for almost my entire life; I started teaching music to 2-year-old children when I was a teenager, and I have never looked back. I am convinced that music saved my life as a teenager. It was my ‘drug of choice’, if you will. Whenever life became overwhelming, I could blow all the pain, heartache, fears and frustration into one end of my flute, and beautiful sounds would come out the other end. Had I not been able to find this creative outlet, I am afraid I would have turned to more dangerous ways of dealing with the bad situations. As a music educator, I want to provide this creative outlet to as many children as possible.”
For more information about after-school strings classes, call 704-637-4314, or visit the Symphony’s website:
Note: This is the second in a series of short stories submitted by the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra to spotlight its teachers.