Wednesday, November 25, 2020

My Music Teacher

I learned that my elementary school music teacher passed away recently. Her name was Mrs. Tingler, and she taught music from the time I was at Breckinridge Elementary School until I left there in sixth grade.

She did not instill my love of music in me - that honor belongs to my father, who has always sang and played the guitar. But she did impress me with the variety of music available, and opened my eyes to many different types of instruments.

She would bring in drums, bongos, triangles, recorders, tambourines, and other such instruments and hand them out to students to play.

Some of my favorite songs we sang were Senor Don Gato, a song about a cat, and Goodbye, Old Paint, a song about an old pony. Sometimes I call my husband "Old Paint," and he always looks at me funny when I do that.

Once Mrs. Tingler took me and another student to other elementary schools to sing. I also played the flute during the songs. The only song I recall that we sang was Morning Has Broken, but I know there were others. It was a big deal to be pulled from class to go around to other schools, riding in Mrs. Tingler's car from place to place.

A while back, I connected with Mrs. Tingler on Facebook and was able to thank her for her influence in my life. I am glad I was able to do that.

I don't know if students still have music at the elementary school level, what with the focus on STEM learning and teaching to tests. But hearing the sounds of young folks playing instruments and lifting their voices in song has to be one of the greatest delights of life.

I hope every young student has a Mrs. Tingler in his or her life at some point.



  1. Mrs. Tingler was a hoot!! I loved her class. The one song I sing to this day is the Bluegrass song Great Granddad. She made it so much fun! I will never forget the day she called Dad and he had to come and do the Christmas program at the school because she got the flu. We struggled though it but the show went on!!!

  2. Both of my kids used to come home singing Don Gato! I had never heard it until my son learned it in fourth grade or so. I thought it was the funniest thing ever.


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