October Top Notch Teacher

Melody Snyder is a band instructor at Winona Middle School

Music can be used to describe many different emotions, but what brings one Winona Middle School band teacher joy isn’t just the notes and rhythms — it’s when students learn how to play them the right way.

In band class at Winona Middle School, helping students make the notes sing is the real music to the instructor Melody Snyder’s ears.

“There was nothing else that I could imagine doing or picture myself doing,” said Snyder.

As a child, Snyder was destined for a career in music.

“When I was growing up, my dad was a band director and my mom was a choir director,” said Snyder. “Music was obviously a really important part of my childhood, my name is Melody.”


After completing her education, Snyder couldn’t think of a better place to teach than at the school that helped continue inspiring her love for music.

“It’s awesome to be able to give back to the community that gave me so much, and to be able to work with the awesome teachers in this building that were once upon a time my teachers and I can call them my colleagues, it’s really pretty special,” said Snyder.

Her style of teaching goes beyond keeping a steady beat in front of the students.
“I like being in there with them, and not just standing up front and having it be they’re the students and I’m the teacher,” said Snyder. “I’d much rather prefer to have that relationship.”

It’s the teaching through rhythm clapping and singing and playing alongside the young musicians that eighth grader Alexis Partington loves most about Snyder’s class.

“It helps a lot because then you know how high you have to get, and you can hear it,” said Partington.

Snyder said helping the students hit the high note and play that rhythm perfectly are just some of things that makes her job so great.

“To be able to inspire and to teach them how to do it the right way, there’s just so many great things about it,” said Snyder. “I really enjoy it. It’s kids and it’s music, and to me there’s nothing better.”

Snyder has been teaching at Winona Middle School for eight years.

She also started the Band for All program that collects instruments from the community to help students who may not be able to afford them