PORTLAND, Ore. —

Tamara Enghusen is a music teacher at Findley Elementary School. Brenda Braxton sat down with her to learn how to hit the perfect note.    

#1 - "School of Rock" or "Mr. Holland's Opus?"

Ms. Enghusen: I have to choose Mr. Holland’s Opus and it’s because he just really strives to pull stuff out of all of his students, and he demanded that they do their best no matter what it was.

#2 - Choir or Band?

Ms. Enghusen: Choir!

#3 - Guitar or Piano?

Ms. Enghusen: I have to say piano because that was my major instrument growing up and that's an easy instrument to start playing on.

#4 - Favorite note?

Ms. Enghusen: Aaaaa [That's her singing].

#5 - Best voice of all time?

Ms. Enghusen: Whitney Houston, by far. When I was growing up she was one of my idols. For a female she's got it: the range, the timbre, just the runs she could do, the licks she could do.

#6 - What instrument should kids start with?

Ms. Enghusen: Your first instrument I think is important to develop is your voice. It's your God-given instrument; everybody can sing. Once you start singing, you develop that inner ear where you can start playing piano by ear, violin. But if you have little boys then drums is a good instrument to start them with. 

#7 - Why is music class so important for kids?

Ms. Enghusen: If they're not good in academics or in sports they may be able to dance, they may be able to sing. Playing an instrument and keeping a steady beat gives them a sense of pride. It develops coordination, creativity, it helps them with expression and it's just a great release.

#8 - What do you love most about teaching?

Ms. Enghusen: Being able to just have fun with them. Because I've been here for so long, I can build with them every year on something. We do a lot of dancing, we perform at the Trail Blazer games, so we have a lot of really fun things that we do, it's fun.

Bonus Question:

Best decade for music?

Ms. Enghusen: So the best decade for me is the late '70s going into the '80s. That's because we have Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, we have Queen, Bon Jovi, we have Kool and the Gang—"Celebration!" You had a lot of anthems, a lot of love songs, a lot of rock, so that's my favorite one.

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