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  • Julie Reuter

Interview with Horizon Retiree Mrs. Barootian 

Updated: May 13

Written by Madison Stern, Jace Bakken, Liliana Lantz, and Olivia Bramblett

How long have you been teaching? 

I taught for 32 years in Pewaukee.

What made you decide to become a teacher?  

At a very young age, I had a passion for music and singing and knew I wanted to do something related to music and the performing arts. My options in college were music therapy, performance, composing, or teaching. Of those four options, I was most interested in teaching. I worked in a daycare and taught preschool music during college. I could easily relate to my young students, and they could relate to me. Teaching felt natural and was the obvious choice.

What is your favorite memory of Horizon School? 

I taught at Pewaukee Lake Elementary for my first 22 years, so I have many fond memories of my time there.  I have been full-time for the last ten years here at Horizon. I will never forget the Pirate Players musicals and my Morning Larks choirs, jamming on ukuleles with 5th graders, seeing the pride on a student’s face when they earn a recorder belt, and listening to 3rd graders sing their hearts out! Students singing at Veterans assemblies, too!

What is the biggest struggle you overcame during your career? 

I had to learn to recognize my value and how to tap into it when I didn’t feel valued. I remind myself that I have worked very, very hard for many, many students for a very, very long time. I know how much I care about my students' music education. I have had a lot of education and training (Master's plus 36 credits) and additional certifications. I place more value on this personal truth and less on praise or criticism from others.

What are you most proud of? 

I pick the best music for my students to learn the most from. I give my students repertoire from other periods and cultures. I’m proud that I provide my students with a variety of styles of music. I’m proud of them when they are open to learning new music that is different from what they are used to hearing.  

What are your plans for the future?

I want to spend time with my family, travel, and maybe get another dog. 

In what ways have you demonstrated and encouraged the Create Graduate Competency in your professional career at Horizon? 

Create is one of our four music standards.  Our music standards are Create, Perform, Describe, and Connect, so this graduate competency fits right in.  Students have created their music pieces in Chrome Music Lab and Garage Band. They create rhythm patterns, strumming patterns, and songs with ukulele chord progressions. They make up boomwhacker songs, bell melodies, and choreography, reflecting the music's form, beat, and rhythm. They created and performed their 12-bar blues songs for one of our concerts!  Seesaw offers many music templates for students to drag and drop patterns to create songs.  


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