The school year is off to an exciting start for new Glenbrook North choir director Kelsey Nichols.
Kelsey is teaching four music classes, while also helping out after school with a capella groups and the female show choir.
Teaching high school students is refreshing for Kelsey. She started out teaching children as young as 6 in Oswego. From there, she spent three years as the choral director of both Wheaton-Warrenville High School and Edison Middle School. This is her first time teaching solely high school students.
“I really like working with challenging music and high-level musicianship,” she said. “You get to start digging beyond the notes and foundations. I love relating to the students; we can joke and have a good time. It’s a lot of fun having that level of maturity in the classroom.”
Music has always been a family affair for Kelsey. She started taking piano lessons at an early age, and her mother and sisters love to sing as well.
While Kelsey can say she was “born singing,” she notes that choir has strong benefits for those starting out as teenagers.
“There’s so much that choir can teach,” she said. “Of course we’re teaching singing and music theory, but even deeper than that we are teaching confidence. Singing in front of people takes a lot of courage; it’s about overcoming fear of judgment.”
Kelsey said these skills easily translate to the “real world” by teaching youth to believe in themselves and set goals.
“You learn how to take a skill and continue to work at it,” she said.
This year, Kelsey will be the vocal director for the school variety show – something she is thrilled about.
“I’ve seen all the videos from years past,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity for students, and also a high-level performance.”
Kelsey said she enjoys seeing students participate in a number of programs at GBN.
“Everyone seems to be really connected, and I enjoy that because I was the student in high school that wanted to do everything. I love that we have well-rounded students.”
The fall choir concert will be at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24 in the CPA.