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The Student News Site of Hazelwood West High School

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Teacher Spotlight: Alexander Johnson

Experiences of Choir and getting others into singing 

Mr. Alexander Johnson is a Choir teacher/director at Hazelwood West High School. He has been singing since he was at a very young age and his life has been centered around music for as long as he can remember. Singing is a way that helps him to release and is the one thing that has always made sense to him. He learned very young that singing brings people together. 

“It was something, no matter your background, everyone can understand. That to me is so beautiful because it allows for everyone to be of one mind and one accord.” Johnson said. 

Johnson as a Choir teacher/director believes that Choir is a chance to sing and be around different people they may or may not have had the opportunity to interact with. He believes that the arts overall is something people should experience because the arts are a unique way to express yourself in a way that is unlike anything else that is out there. Choir also offers the opportunity to be around people that have like minds. Johnson believes that there is a mental battle that comes with singing because your voice is your instrument and your instrument is always a part of you. Johnson would not be who he is if he never sang in a Choir and he thinks students can learn more about themselves by being in a Choir. 

“One of the most important aspects of choir is being able to express yourself, and what better way to do that and cultivate that love to do it with people that you wouldn’t normally be able to.” Johnson said. 

Johnson has seen every type of director from the directors that make Choir more of a family dynamic and others that treat Choir like a business. 

“I’ve been in ensembles where I’ve felt like I really knew everyone and others where I couldn’t even tell you the first thing about the guy standing next to me.” Johnson said. 

Johnson’s goal as a Choir teacher/director is to be one that cares about the students more than he does the singers. Johnson is more concerned about cultivating great people than he is singers. He wants his class to feel like a place where his students are welcome and appreciated. 

“If I do nothing else in my time here at West, I want everyone to know that I truly love and care for my students.” Johnson said. 

Johnson’s advice to you for getting into Choir or singing is to come in with an open mind. Choir is unique and requires you to access a part of yourself that sometimes lies inactive. 

“I would encourage them to afford themselves the freedom to explore and try new things! You’ll learn a lot about yourself singing in choir.” Johnson said. 


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About the Contributor
Danielle Scantlan
Danielle Scantlan, Staff Writer
Name: Danielle Scantlan  Grade: Sophomore, 10 I am in choir but no extracurriculars but I will be in concerts.  I like to play volleyball non-competitively, I like to color, I like to be outside a lot, I love to listen to music, I like to watch videos on animals. I am excited about the newspaper because I think it will be a new experience and something new to try. This does get me out of my comfort zone but I am excited because I think it will be fun. I am the only sophomore in my class but that doesn't bother me because everyone seems nice and welcoming and there's not a lot of people. I do have social anxiety and that is why this is out of my comfort zone but I am always willing to try new things and I am very ready and excited to see what this class will bring to me. I really like trying new things and that is why I decided to stay in the class. I was scared at first but now I am looking forward to it more. I also really like to write and I especially love to write something based on research and that is what this class is so working for the newspaper will be fun because I get to research. That brings me to my next point because I love to do research on all things and now I get to do it for the school. I am thrilled to be telling people about our school and the good things and bad things that come with it. I can't wait to start getting articles written so I can share with everyone. 
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