NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (WTNH) – Jonathan Berryman has been a passionate music teacher in New Haven for 24 years. He grew up in a family of musicians, in the heart of the American South in Richmond, Virginia.
He developed a beautiful singing voice and learned to play musical instruments in the church where his father was pastor. Berryman graduated from two Ivy League schools. Her undergraduate degree in music is from Princeton while her graduate degree in choir conducting is from Yale.
He is the class leader to empower his students through laughter and song and ensure that his children can find their voice.
“I don’t remember a time when there was no music. On my mother’s side, the family is full of singers. My father’s side is full of singers. We all played the viola. I am the youngest of five. My older sister started playing the viola in elementary school and it became the family instrument that has been passed down to all of us, ”said Berryman.
Berryman started playing the piano at a young age and admits to being very good at being taught to read music, something his students come out of school learning to do.
“Music helps us understand each other. Once you find your voice, any instrument you pick up becomes an extension of who you are, so one of the real things about teaching music is that it really helps students understand who they are and to declare it’s my voice, ”Berryman said. .
He says teachers need to express their needs more and that they need to be listened to.
“I think we just need to ask teachers more for their opinion, and it should be honored. A lot of times we have politicians who have good intentions about their decisions to create and develop policy, but they haven’t really asked teachers whether or not it is good policy, ”Berryman said.
Ann Nyberg of News 8 asked Berryman, “What’s best about being a teacher?” He replied, “I think the best thing about being a teacher is really seeing the students progress, seeing them learn, seeing them find their voice.”
“Once you know who you are, once you know how you stack up, once you admit that you have limits, but you also have a gift, there is something unique about your voice. . How do you know it was me? Because I know your voice, I know where you are at, you matter. Once they understand that, then they can make a positive contribution to any society they find themselves in, ”Berryman continued.
Berryman’s students get the best of a musical master. He wants to move into administration in the future where he can teach others more what he has learned from some of the best.
To read more inspiring stories from Connecticut teachers, check out the online platform launched by Dalio Education earlier this month at www.teachersofconnecticut.org.