By Gabi Roach and Miranda Kianka
When you think about your different teachers at school, there are many types of personalities. Maybe your math teacher is difficult to understand, or your social studies teacher is unapproachable. Sometimes the only thing you have in common with your teachers is school. There are no after-class conversations, or sharing what you did over the weekend. There is a very rare chance to have a closer-than-normal relationship where you can be comfortable around your teacher. Eric Mordhorst, the band director at North Shore Middle School, is an exception. He isn’t like any other teachers. He teaches his students to listen to each other and to watch; not just for music, but for life as well. Eric Mordhorst inspires students everyday to make music and always puts a smile on their faces.

During period one, around fifty eighth grade students walk into the bright, large room to play their instruments. Each student assembles their instrument, tunes, and waits for the timer to go off. Set for approximately four minutes, the timer lets students know when it’s time to begin the warmup. Mr. Mordhorst assigns the warmup to start the period off on a good note. It helps to blend the instruments and balance the sound. After the warmup is complete, Mr. Mordhorst steps up onto his mini stage. He says a few words to us, before we begin. “Hey guys! How’re you doing today?” is something he always says to us. Even though it may go unnoticed to some people, others find it very comforting that he cares. He isn’t just saying that to say it. Instead, he wants to know how our morning has been so far and how we’re feeling. Then, he raises his arms, baton in hand, and gives us the first downbeat. After that, he is not the only one who gets lost in the music. There is a way this teacher conducts. You can see it in his face that he really loves music. He really loves his job. Without fail, every band concert that we’ve ever participated in has included a heartwarming speech done by Mr. Mordhorst. He tells the audience how glad he is that he has this job, and after band class every day, he lets us know that he appreciates and loves us. School is stressful and mornings especially are sometimes the worst part of the day. But when students have band, they leave the band room feeling much better about themselves. Without Mr. Mordhorst, North Shore Middle School would not be whole.

In 2014, North Shore’s very own 7th and 8th grade students were handed the amazing opportunity to get to perform at the very famous Carnegie Hall. That would not have been possible without Mr. Mordhorst. He organized the whole event, from the ride on the bus to walking onstage. We can speak for everyone when we say that playing in front of hundreds of people in one of the most famous halls in the world, at ages 13 and 14, was overwhelming but wonderful. It was an experience that we will surely be telling our grandkids. Eric Mordhorst picks fun and interesting pieces for the students to play. Some are slow and beautiful, while others are fast and unique. The instrument-based lessons always fly by. They’re filled with one-on-one help, talking, laughing, and working out pieces.

Eric Mordhorst is truly an inspiring person, who is the perfect fit to be the 7th and 8th grade band teacher. He gives encouragement, happiness, and laughter to his students. He truly has a passion for music and his job. Although you would think that all a band teacher does is help kids get a sound of our their flute, or try to teach a clarinet student a rhythm, Mr. Mordhorst does much more than that. He does not only teach his students skills that they can use in a music room, but he brightens kids’ days with cheesy jokes and funny stories. Mr. Mordhorst will continue to inspire and educate students for a long time. He is a very important piece to this puzzle we call North Shore Middle School. It’s pretty difficult to control and teach middle school kids, but this band teacher has done it. Eric Mordhorst is a one-of-a-kind person, who will continue to put smiles on faces. We can speak for everyone when we say that he has done so much for the middle schoolers, and when he says he loves us, the feeling is mutual. 

1 COMMENT

  1. I second that! Yet another well written article covering NSMS’s classroom experience!!!It’s evident that Mr. Mordhorst LOVES his students, LOVES his job, and LOVES to spread joy to others.

  2. Gabi and Miranda,I don’t know if you have any idea how much your thoughts mean to me. I’ve now read this article no less than a dozen times, and I get teary-eyed every time.
    You guys, and all of my students, mean the world to me, and I’m so happy that all of you know how much I care.
    With love,
    Mr. Mordhorst