Music | Education
“Music gives us a language that cuts across the disciplines, helps us to see connections and brings a more coherent meaning to our world.” This quotation by Ernest Boyer, the president of the Carnegie Foundation, represents exactly what Gail S. Phillips hopes to pass on to her students. Combining her love of children with her passion for music, she has been a teacher and the director of bands at Chase Middle School since 2007. There, she sets a high standard for her students while also allowing them to learn and grow in a fun environment. Her goal is to help kids realize the connective power of music.
Prior to her current position, Ms. Phillips was a teacher at Kalles Junior High, Totem Middle School, Mead School District 354, the Auburn School District, Gonzaga Preparatory School, and Port Townsend High School. She also held positions like teacher of the Student Mentoring Program, PTA faculty adviser of Totem Middle School, vice president of the Eastern Washington chapter of the National Association for Music Education, and secretary of the student chapter of the National Association for Music Education. She prepared for her endeavors by earning a Master of Arts in music education, a Bachelor of Music Education, and a Bachelor of Music Performance from Eastern Washington University and an Associate of Arts from Spokane Falls Community College.
Ms. Phillips’ hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed. She won a Washington Music Educators Association (WMEA) Hall of Fame Award in 2017, and was recognized as an honoree for the Washington State Teacher of the Year Award in 2000. Her achievements were highlighted in four editions of Who’s Who of American Women. If she could offer some advice to the younger generations, it would be to keep an open mind, be flexible to changes, and to always keep learning. She intends to continue her working with students and playing her instruments moving forward.