Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Wendy Wiseman taught history in middle school. But her love of music drew her back to complete a second degree, a Bachelor of Music, in 2015.
“I knew at nine years old that I would be a music teacher,” she says. “I would spend hours singing, playing recorder, and making up songs on the piano. Music helped me understand fractions, learn new languages, and memorize state capitals; but mostly, it taught me how to connect to others and make sense of my world.”
Wendy’s first inspiration was her mother: “My mother immigrated to the United States from Venezuela in the 1960s. She taught me to sing and play piano. She also became my inspiration for higher education when she graduated with her master’s degree in education and successfully retired last year from 30 years of teaching.”
Wendy is the music teacher at Windsor Park Elementary School, where she was recently recognized with an "I am CMS" award. At Windsor Park, she works across the curriculum to connect what happens in her classroom to the students’ learning in other subjects.
“For example, when the third grade learns fractions, we perform a pizza rondo on Orff instruments and create our own musical fractions. When Kindergarten studies vowels, we sing “Old MacDonald Had Some Vowels” in ASL sign language. I believe this kind of subject integration and collaboration are what makes a difference for students.”
The student population at Windsor Park We is a diverse community that includes many language learners. “We have Bosnian performers, Mariachi performers, and students who love to rap.”
Her education in the Department of Music at UNC Charlotte provided excellent preparation for Windsor Park, Wendy says.
“UNC Charlotte taught me to be 21st-century critical thinker and collaborator. I was exposed to such a broad range of vocal and instrumental world music and learned to value diversity in order to create an intentional place for it in my classroom. There is something about singing the songs of other cultures that opens your heart and teaches you a new perspective. I also observed how my professors used collaboration across all genres of the visual and performing arts. The outcome was spectacular.”