Aaron Hansen teaches general music and chorus at Waverly-Shell Rock schools, focusing on elementary and middle school students.
"I was one of the odd people that knew what I wanted to do by the end of high school: Music education," said Hansen.
Hansen got his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Northern Iowa.
He originally planned to go into instrumental music, but after getting a taste of general music he knew that was what he wanted to do.
"Within a lesson, we will try to do movement, instruments, we throw in singing, we do a little bit of everything each day so they get that variety," said Hansen.
He teaches six to seven sections of music each school day.
Students say Mr. Hansen is a fun teacher who is also a good instructor.
"Mr. Hansen showed me a lot of new styles of music," said sixth-grader Anna Hoins.
Parent Linda Withers has worked with Hansen for more than 10 years.
"I was blessed to have both my kids go through Aaron's program," she said. "One is in college, and one will be a senior next year."
Withers said one of Hansen's biggest accomplishments each school year is a fifth- and sixth-grade musical. This year, students put on "The Wizard of Oz."
Anna Hoins played Dorothy.
"It was awesome," said Hoins. "I loved it."
Hansen said what he loves most about his job is that there's never a dull moment.
He also leads two after-school groups. One is a percussion group. The other is a movement group.
This school year, about 30 of his after-school students performed at a national music conference in St. Louis.
Hansen said his short-term goal is to keep the students engaged throughout his classes. Long-term, he hopes to instill a life-long appreciation for the arts.
"I can't even count the number of kids' lives he's affected," Withers said. "Thank you, Aaron, for instilling a love of music and passion of theater and dance and drama into lives at this age, and it's something they can carry with them for the rest of their lives."
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