Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Long-held love of music brings state honor to Watergrass Elementary teacher

WESLEY CHAPEL — A sign posted in music teacher Karen Reinhold's class at Watergrass Elementary School reads, "Music is not what I do, it's who I am."

The sentiment has carried Reinhold through a 30-year career as a music educator, and now she has won the 2013-14 Music Education Service Award from the Florida Music Educators Association.

"It's hard to believe it's been 30 years," said Reinhold, 54, "but it's satisfying to be honored this way. It feels good."

As a music educator, Reinhold seeks to instill her own love for all kinds of music — Christian, country, rock, Broadway — in students of all levels.

"Music is a lifelong thing for everyone," she said. "The love for music never leaves you. You hear it every day. You carry it with you."

The Illinois native has brought her love for music to Lake Myrtle Elementary, Denham Oaks Elementary and Wesley Chapel Elementary since settling with her family in Pasco County in the early 1990s, She has been teaching music at Watergrass Elementary since 2009, overseeing student choral groups, and organizing concerts, programs and musicals.

"The key to teaching music to children is to make it fun," said Reinhold. "I encourage students to get up and move around, to sing and dance."

Reinhold also incorporates the use of musical instruments in class, encouraging kids to pound away on drums and bongos. She gets up and dances with them, passing around a microphone so everyone has a chance to sing.

She has given her students the chance to perform publicly at places like Tampa International Airport and the Shops at Wiregrass. And she has helped autistic students perform concerts for their families.

"The thing I love about working with Karen is that she's flexible, kind and open to new ideas," said Amy Nickerson, also a music teacher at Watergrass Elementary. "She always comes up with new ways to do things."

Outside of school, Reinhold — the daughter of a minister who sang at her father's church as a child — leads a children's choir at Idlewild Baptist Church. In the past she has joined other Pasco music educators to stage Broadway-style revues to benefit music education programs in the county.

She plans to continue teaching for several more years, and then give church-based music lessons at Idlewild after she retires.

No matter where she goes or what she does, she plans "to keep the music in my life."

Long-held love of music brings state honor to Watergrass Elementary teacher 01/31/14 [Last modified: Friday, January 31, 2014 2:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Florida Insiders: The state parties are dying; 'I heard someone long for the leadership of Jim Greer'

    Blogs

    For all the attention on Florida Democratic Chairman Stephen Bittel's bone headed gaffe this week, the diminished state of the once mighty Florida GOP today compared to even a few years ago is arguably more striking than the condition of the long-suffering Florida Democratic Party. A decade ago, no one would have …

    Florida Insider Poll
  2. Florida Democrats surging with grassroots enthusiasm, but 2018 reality is grim

    State Roundup

    After Donald Trump's election, so many people started showing up at monthly Pinellas County Democratic Party meetings, the group had to start forking out more money for a bigger room.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden addresses Florida Democrats at the Leadership Blue Gala on June 17 in Hollywood, Fla. (Photo by Carol Porter)
  3. Will new laws protect condo owners from apartment conversions and rogue associations?

    Real Estate

    Danny Di Nicolantonio has lived in St. Petersburg's Calais Village Condominums for 33 years. Annoyed at times by the actions, or inaction, of the condo board and property managers, he has complained to the state agency that is supposed to investigate.

    That has left him even more annoyed.

    A bill passed by the Florida Legislature would affect places like The Slade in Tampa's Channelside district, where cCondominium owners have battled a plan to convert homes into apartments.
[Times file photo]
  4. Walmart opens first Pinellas County in-house training academy

    Retail

    Seminole — It had all the hallmarks of a typical graduation: robe-clad graduates marching in to Pomp and Circumstance, friends and family packed together under a sweltering tent and a lineup of speakers encouraging the graduates to take charge of their future.

    New Walmart Academy graduates are congratulated Thursday morning by associates during a graduation ceremony at the Walmart store, 10237 Bay Pines Boulevard, St. Petersburg. The Walmart location is one of the company's training academies where managers complete a one week retail course. David Shultz and Richard Sheehan, both from St. Petersburg, get high fives from the crowd.
[SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  5. Four questions with Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith before he helps lead the St. Pete Pride parade

    Human Interest

    A decade ago, Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith was afraid to tell his friends and family he was gay.

    Largo City Commissioner Michael Smith will serve as a grand marshal at the St. Pete Pride parade on Saturday. [City of Largo]