George Lucas Educational Foundation

Peter Siegel

Music Teacher, Symonds Elementary School

I am currently the music teacher at Symonds Elementary School in Keene, NH and also run adult education workshops throughout the year. Symonds is a highly collaborative K-5 public school with a strong social curriculum. I work school wide with our team of "specials" teachers (art, PE, media) to create cross-curricular cultural activities. This serves to anchor a culture of caring.

I grew up in the Hudson Valley in NY, around the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a revolutionary hands-on environmental education program started by the folksinger-activist Pete Seeger. The program utilizes sailing, music, storytelling, and celebration to educate all ages about the science and history of the Hudson River. I subsequently performed and recorded in the community and with Pete. Inspired by Pete's work, I’ve aspired to use the arts as a medium to build community, pride, and a "sense of place" in the public school environment.

After earning an MS in Environmental Resource Management from Antioch Graduate School, I went directly into education and have now been teaching Kindergarteners to adults for over 20 years.  I believe that place-based and arts-based education are essential to the academic strength of any school. Serving and educating the "whole child," often striving for intangible successes, inspiring a sense of place, belonging, and allowing for personal expression is what will help save public education.

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