Michael Moehlmann, Band Director


Photo by Daniela Giron-Davila

Michael Moelmann, Band Director

What is your name and department? Mike Moehlmann and I’m in the fine and applied arts department.

Did you teach at any other school or is North your first? I’ve taught at 4 other schools. I first taught at Iowa city high school, I came back here and taught at a middle school in Barrington where I taught at three schools; Rose elementary, Countryside elementary, and Lyons elementary. 

How would you describe most of your classes? Did students find your subject difficult? All my classes have been in the band field, not just band but music theory, percussion, jazz band. I would say I have had a wide range of students that I try to meet their needs where they are in their performance level and their musicianship level, so it is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that suits them it’s not like over their head. 

What are some fun things you do in your classes? I think all the music we play is pretty fun, all that we do in our classes is pretty fun. We’ve had the opportunity to go on a couple of trips. Jazz band will go to a festival. We just went to one last weekend to compete against other jazz bands. In the past, the band here has gone to Disney World and performed there, we were able to do clinics with Disney professionals and play music for Disney movies. We got to play at Pearl Harbor one time in Hawaii. Took the band out there and did similar things in Iowa city. We’ve gone on different trips and played at different festivals.   

Do you have a favorite song? What is it? That’s like an impossible question but I’ll say right now my favorite song is Trinity by Snarky Puppy. 

Do you have any pets? No, I used to have a fish if that counts.

What is a quote you’re inspired by? “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” from John Wooden the basketball coach 

What is a valuable thing you’d tell a new teacher? I think my answer could go to any new teacher, but I would say make connections with your students, like through the subject matter. Find bands they’re interested in, find music they’re interested in, find out other instruments they may like to play if you play instruments like them. Make sure they see you also being engaged and passionate about music so that that passion can be contagious and rub off on them.

What’s your best memory of teaching at North so far? There’s been some really good stuff, it’s a tough question. I would say it’s gotta be a trie. One would be going to Hawaii and taking the band to play at Pearl Harbor. What was so special about it was playing for an audience that was there to listen to us which you know is always a bonus. But I think what was so awesome about not just our performance, but like going to the Pearl Harbor memorial and seeing the reverence that the students kind of knew what that place was, was really special for me. When you get out of the memorial and walk through it, there’s a weight there that I could tell everyone was experiencing also which was really cool. My other one would be last year, when we did a joint performance with Lincoln Park high school and we played a piece called “Of our new day begun” and it was the wind ensembles from both here at North and Lincoln Park high school. I think it was one of the most powerful performances that we’ve had here.