Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
Madison Wares is a professional singer and musician. She is also the choral teacher at Ronald Wilson Reagan Middle School. This is Wares’s first year as a full-time choral teacher; last year, she was a part-time teacher at the school.
Wares has spent over a decade singing with jazz, funk, rhythm and blues (R&B), blues, country, rock, and Tejano groups. She is also a pianist, sound and lighting technician, writer/arranger/lyricist, worship leader, and private music instructor.
Wares decided to put her music industry connections to good use by starting a weekly Zoom interview program for her students. Wares invites music professionals whom she knows to speak with her students and answer questions. After receiving interest from other music instructors in the Division, Wares made the interview sessions open to all secondary students.
The guest musicians speak on everything from sound production and engineering, to the writing process, music business, and even mental health. For the students, an added bonus is talking to people who have performed on Broadway or appeared on their favorite television show.
“I relate these interviews to what I am doing in class by doing things like asking about their favorite breathing exercises if we are doing breathing and posture that week, or asking what they feel in their breath support if we are going over the role of the diaphragm in our respiratory system,” said Wares.
“My guests have repeatedly said they have so much fun speaking to the students at PWCS and some have offered up other friends as possible interviewees. I will surely take them up on those leads to continue the interview series.
“I would like to thank Dr. (Ed) Stevenson, supervisor of the arts in PWCS, for his support and enthusiasm, my principal Mr. (Chris) Beemer for giving his teachers the freedom to dream outside the box, and Mrs. (Jenita) Boatwright for being the supervising administrator who always lifts you up at just the right time. All these people have been extremely encouraging through this virtual adventure and have really let their teachers shine. I think it shows.”