I am Larissa R. Hall and I was born to John L. and Wilma R. Hall on February 17th in Utica, NY. They knew I was going to be a special person because I was born on my grandmother’s 50th birthday. I have 3 siblings, 2 brothers and 1 sister of which I am the second oldest. I currently reside in Philadelphia, PA and attended school in the Philadelphia Public School System. I am a musician by heart, mind and soul who has a passion for children.
While attending the Girard Academic Music Program, initially for singing, I learned to play the trombone and was also taught music theory, how to read and write music, which only increased my love for music all the more. After getting a good grasp on the trombone I decided to pick up the trumpet and taught myself how to play that as well. Upon graduating high school I attended Eastern University where I studied music education and church music. Later, I transferred to Temple University and there I studied Jazz performance with a minor in music education.
I have always had a great connection with children and during my early teenage years I obtained my first job which was babysitting for some friends of the family. I enjoyed being with children so much that my first “real-world” paying job was at a summer camp. Between volunteering at the church Vacation Bible School and working at the summer camp I realized I have a great connection with children and can help make a difference in their lives and that is what I seek to do.
I have since been employed at a few different childcare facilities along with a music store and book store but no matter what I always found myself returning to working in either a childcare or school setting. Recently, I had the privilege to work at an elementary school for 5 years. Initially, I was hired to be a lunchroom aide, but after careful observation I was granted the opportunity to become their music teacher. This was an honor to me because I had not yet received a degree in music.
I taught the choir and I was able to pass on my knowledge of music theory to children in grades K-8th. I was employed as the instrumental music teacher and taught beginner piano, trumpet, flute, clarinet and saxophone lessons. This was most of the children’s first experience in learning a musical instrument and I was honored to be the person to impart my knowledge into them. Unfortunately, it was time for me to move on from this place of employment and as I searched for other employment I was led to another childcare facility, where I am still employed.
I have been at the Jenkintown Day Nursery for 2 years now and although sometimes challenging, it has indeed been a rewarding opportunity. During this time, I had an urge to get a better understanding of how to properly care for children and to further my education in Early Childhood Education. I thought and prayed long and hard about this and the door was opened for me to fulfill this desire. Now, I am taking classes to obtain my CDA and words can’t express the excitement I feel in being able to fulfill this.
Upon completion of my CDA, I plan on getting my certification to teach music to preschool aged children. Even though I am already working in the field and teaching music too, I desire to have the certification to do this. Just knowing that I am fulfilling the things I was meant to do is an exciting feeling and to know that I can do both, childcare and teach music, makes this opportunity even more rewarding.