Bringing students together through music
The LPHS music program has been blessed with incredible educators over the years, and Matt Sullivan is no exception.
Sullivan has taught at La Porte Community Schools for 11 years now. He taught at Kesling Middle School for eight years before coming to LPHS to fill the assistant director role.
“I was fresh out of college and looking for a solid music program. This community supports the arts extremely well. It was a good place to start my career and continue it,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan graduated from Indiana University and was a student of its Jacobs School of Music. There he studied music education as a trombone player.
“I have always wanted to teach. In high school, I was leaning towards music and history. When I was a senior in high school, I conducted a production of the Wizard of Oz. Rehearsing a group was so much fun, that sealed the deal. I want everyone to experience what I had at that age, and realize how much they can gain from music,” Sullivan said.
Here in La Porte, he has been able to share that passion with his students. He understands the importance of all aspects of music education, regardless of which ensemble is involved.
“To treat everything we do like it is important. The marching band performance at Fox Fark in August is equal to State Finals. With that mindset, everything you accomplish can have quality and meaning,” Sullivan said.
In addition to the importance of being a solid musician, Sullivan sees the importance of having his students be well rounded not only in their other academic subjects but in life as well.
“I try to get every class to learn things about other subjects. It is easy to learn about history through the music we perform. Science through talking about the physics of sound. Math and English I accomplish through vocabulary and rhythmic counting. Sometimes talking about F=MA is a good way to teach a percussionist how to accent better!” Sullivan said.
Sullivan, parallel with the other influential music educators that we have here in LPCSC, believes in the power music has to bring people together.
“I like the variety and the change it can have on my mood and emotions. I like the way it brings society together in every aspect of their life. It is used as celebration music and funeral music, and everything in between,” Sullivan said.
There is little doubt that Sullivan will join the long list of storied and illustrious music educators.