Please meet music educator Beth Poquette-Drews, who teaches 6-8th grade music at L. V. Stockard Middle School in Dallas, TX. Beth credits her Oma (grandmother) as the inspiration for her love of music, which has led to a 22+ year career as a music teacher, as well as multiple Teacher of the Year awards due to her dedication to her students, and of course, her love of sharing music with her students and community.
Music truly runs in Beth’s family. She first heard about Music Will’s program in 2010 from her husband, who is also a music educator. At the very first Modern Band Summit, she discovered the Modern Band program and hasn’t looked back since. She has even presented at 9 Modern Band Summits herself. Beth says of the program, “Modern Band gives a musical home to kids that like music but traditional band isn’t for them.”
For Beth’s students, music runs deeper than mere interest — it’s in their blood. While many of our Modern Band teachers focus on pop, rock, or jazz to help their kids connect to music, Beth’s students had something different in mind. When they requested to learn Mariachi, she was at first dubious. Afterall, she wasn’t Mexican and didn’t have a personal connection to the music herself. But when one of her students made the poignant statement that she also wasn’t Italian, but taught them Vivaldi, she was convinced.
Beth started a Mariachi Band program at the middle school level that allows her students to not only develop a love of music, but also to connect with their family heritage. The Mariachi program shows her students that the music that defines their culture has value enough to be taught in school, which has had a powerful impact.
One of Beth’s favorite memories is when a group of her Mariachi students learned a Mexican pop song and performed it at the All City Concert. Beth aims “to teach students how to take ownership of their musicianship so that they can be independent music makers outside of the school setting.” Her students beamed with pride as they took the skills they learned from her class and performed music they learned on their own to a large audience.
Outside of teaching music, Beth enjoys reading, making art, playing guitar, watching baseball, and spending time with her husband. She loves 90’s music and folk rock of the 60’s and 70’s.
You can follow Beth on Facebook. Help support teachers like Beth make a difference in their students’ lives by donating here. If you are a teacher and would like to learn more about our Modern Band approach and professional development opportunities, check out our Educators Page and get in touch!