By Sean Deters
Entirely East Lansing
This year’s recipient of the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association teacher of the year award is East Lansing’s David Rosin.
Each year, the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association recognizes a teacher of the year for band and one for orchestra. The process begins in the spring with each of the association’s districts able to nominate a candidate in each classification. The executive board reviews all of the candidates and selects up to three in each area to submit to the entire active membership.
Rosin beat out the other two candidates, Jonathan Glawe and Carol Johnson.
Rosin has taught the high school and middle school orchestras in East Lansing for seven years. He is a co-conductor of the Mid-Michigan Youth Symphony and a member of the Jazz Alliance of Mid-Michigan.
The music teacher said his parents were the spark that ignited his passion for music.
“My mother was an amazing special education teacher in the Detroit area. My father was a wonderful hockey coach for many years. Plus, he really was a great musician. I think the combination of the two together led me to this path,” said David.
As he grew older, David came into contact with people who supported his passion.
“I was really lucky to be around some amazing mentors growing up, in college, and even now,” said Rosin.
However, it wasn’t Rosin’s parents or mentors that convinced him to pursue a music career. Music itself did that for him.
“I love all kind of music, but the Oscar Peterson Trio is what really got me serious about music as a career.”
Today, the East Lansing Public School music director enjoys success, but challenges persist. Keeping a healthy work and life balance is the most difficult part of the job, David admitted.
“My wife is a music teacher as well, so we really have to balance it all out. We dive in during the school year, but try to reset and refresh ourselves during the summer months,” said Rosin.
The Rosins continue to perform professionally and that helps.
“It reminds us of why we are music teaching in the first place. It also reminds us of why we love music and how important it is to society,” said the music teacher.
There are moments that make the job rewarding and worthwhile for David. Moments that provide David with enjoyment include performing in front of a crowd with his students, hearing stories from alumni of the program and working with colleagues.
“There are moments in performance where everything just clicks and everyone involved gets lifted to another plane musically and emotionally. I think hearing stories from alumni of the program and other former students always make it great. Now, I have reached a point in my career where former students are becoming music teachers. That is pretty cool. Plus, I have some amazing colleagues that I work with on a daily basis. That is always inspiring,” said Rosin.
Byron Valentine, a colleague of Rosin’s, enjoys working with David because he is a humble person who provides motivation.
“It really does motivate you to achieve more when you see a great teacher at work. I am not surprised Rosin has won the teacher of the year award, and yet, he was. That is the type of humble person he is,” said Valentine.
He also spoke about the relationship and commitment that David has to his students.
“Mr. Rosin is a genuinely good person. He cares for others, especially students, and goes above and beyond to help them,” said Valentine.
Valentine said the comfort that Rosin provides his students with is why David is such a successful music teacher.
“Music is an emotional art and students have to trust you and be comfortable around you in order to try new things and get through the initial mistakes that all players make before succeeding. Mr. Rosin’s students can do that. Dave is great at reaching the human part of it,” said Valentine.
The students make the job special for David. They provide energy and diversity to the orchestra program.
“The best part of the job is being able to see and experience the music and life journey the kids make from 7th grade all the way through 12th grade. I am in a unique situation to be able to witness that as well as be a part of it. We have so many wonderful and unique music experiences and moments over those 6/7 years of working together,” said the Michigan music teacher of the year