Stick with it. It's simple but sound advice from Shawn Campbell, a band teacher at Mears Middle School.

"It's a small pond and you can make a difference here," Campbell said.

Campbell has been teaching at Mears for the past 12 years and has been a musician for most of his life. Before he began his teaching career, Campbell played the trombone for 20 years with the Elmendorf Air Force Band. He believes music creates connections for students; socially, emotionally and mentally. 

"You're engaging different parts of the brain, you're evaluating and performing, creating and critiquing all at the same time," he said.

There is a lot happening in band and it requires a lot of teamwork from each section.

"I think he's a great teacher and he inspires me every day," said Leo Ellenson, a student at Mears. "I think if I had any other teacher I wouldn't be playing right now."

Campbell doesn't hesitate to jump in with the band, to show them techniques and sounds he'd like them to create.

"I have an idea of what I want the sounds to be like," he said. "We rehearse, we warm up a certain way so we can take those skill and put them into the music."

Campbell and his students are performing an elementary tour this week, where they'll perform for several schools in the Anchorage area. On top of his duties at Mears, Campbell also teaches at Bayshore Elementary several times a week.

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