“The music room in school was a safe space. I was part of a community; music allowed me to be an individual but also a part of a team. There’s something for everyone in music. Listening, playing, talking about it – it will impact everyone. Music livens their senses…It did that for me. I loved being in the music room.” Shauna Argueta reminisces about her time spent in the music room in high school which eventually led to a career in music education. Learning to play piano at 11, she went on to choose trumpet as her instrument in grade 9: “I like that you can play classical and jazz.” By 12th grade she knew she wanted to go to U of T’s four year music education program so Shauna accelerated her OAC courses and began the next stage of her life.
Post U of T, Shauna spent a year at the University of Melbourne in teachers college and became close with a local Chabad family. She then traveled for throughout southeast Asia. While in Cambodia, Shauna’s dad told her of a mid-year opening in the music department at Maple High School in York Region. She applied and then returned home to begin supply teaching the next day – 18 years later she is still there! “It’s never boring. The challenge of trying to figure out how best to reach a student. My first principal told me, “It’s not what you teach them, it’s how you make them feel while you’re teaching it.” I use the material to connect to real life. I’m in touch with a lot of students and I love seeing what they’re doing 5 – 10 years after I taught them. The importance for me is a student finding their place beyond the classroom; for me it was music, but it has to be whatever suits them and that’s what I try to instill as a teacher.”
Shauna and her husband Alex, (who coincidentally also plays the trumpet!) have 2 sons currently at Netivot. “We always have music playing at home.”