Artist Spotlight : Kim Vachon

Anna Hainze

Though author Elbert Hubbard somewhat aptly described education as a “form of self-delusion,” super-senior Kim Vachon would beg to differ. In fact, this Choral Education major cites working as a student teacher one of the most rewarding things she’s ever done.
And it’s not always just about the lessons she teaches to her students. “I think getting hugs from kindergartners is probably the best thing ever, as is just passing something on that I love and helping someone else love it too,” she said. I’m sure that everyone will agree that this is a disgustingly admirable sentiment.
Our heroine is part of the ArtsBridge program. Her current project deals with connecting music and social studies in a fourth grade class at Highlands Elementary School in Appleton. Vachon’s students are currently focusing on music from different regions in the U.S. “The big idea of the project is for them to come away understanding our country as a very diverse place and that diversity is a pretty sweet thing because of all the amazing music, culture and broader awareness that we get out of it,” said Vachon.
Though this may seem like some deep stuff for a group of prepubescent Appletonians to grasp, according to Vachon, they are holding their own and are even enjoying the class.
But Kim’s musical prowess does not begin and end with teaching. She started playing the piano at age six of her own volition, dabbled in the viola, clarinet and guitar, and “was pretty much singing since [she] came out of the womb,” which is a totally terrifying thought. But for now, teaching remains her mainstay — Vachon will be student teaching through the TeachChicago program in the fall, though included in her future plans is “maybe learning a bit more guitar so I can continue writing folksy Indie music not at an eighth grade level.”
A brave and worthy proposal, to say the least.