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The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

The student voice of West Potomac High School

The Wire

Teacher Feature: Ms. Solares


Ms. Nelly Solares is the West Po choir’s new director, having replaced the previous director, Mrs. Campbell. 

Ms. Solares worked with middle schoolers in Liberty Middle School, but is now teaching high schoolers for the first time. She studied music education at Virginia’s George Mason University and earned a bachelor’s degree in the subject. 

She said that teaching high schoolers hasn’t been too much of a change from her previous experience with middle schoolers. Since joining West Po, she’s had a great time meeting her new students. The thing causing her the most trouble is “all the logistical things of finding different offices and knowing who to talk to.” 

But despite the ease of transitioning to new students, Ms. Solares still knows the pressure being placed on her.

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“If I rub someone the wrong way… that might turn them away from music forever,”  Ms. Solares said. “That feels scary.”

Ms. Solares wanted to teach choir since she was 12-years-old, and the thought of pushing someone away from music—something she loves and wishes to share—is stressful. 

Not only is it her responsibility to support her student’s musical expression, but Ms. Solares fosters a community too. When she was a student, her directors helped to form one around her. 

I felt like I was at home there,” Ms. Solares said. “I knew everybody’s names. Regardless of what type of person you are… if you were the kid who played YuGiOh in the morning before school, or if you were the kid who was late to class every day, we were all friends, and nobody was above anybody else. And I loved that.”

Of all her music teachers, a District Choir conductor became a major source of inspiration. When her peers pushed her toward teaching with their words of encouragement, and music truly captured her, she knew she would become a choir teacher.

“I realized I wanted to do that forever. I feel like I’ve been working on this now for over a decade,” she said. 

Like other art forms, choir can be nerve wracking for students when they’re surrounded by their peers.

“Singing is so vulnerable because our instrument is part of our bodies,” she explained. 

As a leader of a musical community, she intends to create a classroom students want to attend.

“My teaching motto is to make sure that everybody that’s in my classroom feels comfortable to do what they do and not to make learning seem scary,” Ms. Solares said. 

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