NJEA Award of Excellence Recipient Gives the Gift of Music
Patricio Molina, 2017 NJEA Award of Excellence Recipient and Associate Director of the Conservatory at Newark School of the Arts, joins Steve Adubato at the NJEA Convention to discuss his extensive career composing and performing music around the world and how he’s continuing his education and teaching music to students today.
"We're speaking to some of the most interesting, compelling educators in the state of New Jersey, here at the NJEA Convention in Atlantic City. I'm pleased to welcome Patricio Molina, 2017 NJEA Award of Excellence recipient, Associate Director of the Conservatory, Newark School of the Arts. Good to see you! Thank you! Good to see you! Let's explain this award. Award for Excellence recipient, what is it for? So right now... well I came to this country, when I was 13 years old. From Chile? From Chile. And I studied, you know, in the school system here, looking for more opportunities, looking for, you know, to educate myself. And right now, I'm the Associate Director of the Newark School of the Arts. And I'm doing a lot of work with children. You're teaching music? I teach music. But go back a little bit. You were two... you told me you were two and a half, you start playing the piano. Why? I have no idea. This as far as I can remember. You know, one of my first memories, I was probably three years old, and one of my first memories, I was tickling the ivories, and then all of a sudden, like people were saying that I was a prodigy. You were the prodigy? And I... Did people come around to listen to you? [laughter] Yeah. So... I mean I... I had no idea what the word meant. No... Prodigy? [laughter] I didn't even know how to spell it! I didn't even know how to spell it! So... and then I remember I was playing for Pavarotti, and the King of Jordan. The Pavarotti? The Pavarotti. And the King of Jordan? And the King of Jordan. And I was so young, I didn't even know who these people were. Right. All I knew is they were important people, and... Yes. ...I was just concentrating tickling those ivories. So where does the...? Okay, you love performing, you love being the musician you are, but the teaching of music. Describe it. The teaching of music is... I think it's very important. It's one of the most important things for our communities. Right now, I'm the Associate Director of the Conservatory at Newark School of the Arts. Explain to folks what that means. So a conservatory is a very high level music education program. And what we do is, you know, Newark is is a great melting pot. And it's... It's my hometown. It's your hometown? That I know well. It's a great town. And I believe that it's the essence of what America is all about. And right now..."