Hello, my name is Mr. Nelson and I teach Band, Choir, Guitar, and Music Appreciation at BMS. I was born in Loma Linda, California on November 7th, 1983. I grew up in the high desert within the small town of Newberry Springs, CA before moving to Barstow, CA at the age of 18. I was raised in a smaller household with only one older brother, but grew up in a huge family with many cousins, as my grandparents on my father's side had 12 children.
I realized I had an admiration and gift for music at an early age. Rhythm was something that came naturally to me. I was indeed that young kid who turned his childhood desk into a homemade drum set. When I was in the 6th grade (middle school) my mother convinced me to join the school music program. I began music as a percussionist, then went to trombone, and later taught myself how to play the guitar and bass guitar. I am overjoyed to be a middle school music teacher this year, as that was the grade/age level I first discovered my love for music.
I participated in my school's music programs from 6th grade to 12th grade. I graduated from Silver Valley High School in 2002. Afterwards I attended Barstow Community College from 2002 to 2005, graduating with an Associates degree in Social Science. Later I transferred to California State University San Bernardino where I double majored and received two different music degrees (Bachelor of Arts in Music Education and Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance). From 2009 to 2010 I enrolled back into the CSU San Bernardino system to receive my Preliminary Teaching Credential. Most recently in August 2015 I finished my Masters in Music Education degree from Kent State University, becoming only the third person in my huge extended family to ever finish a Masters degree program. Throughout my college career I also played electric guitar in two rock bands, playing numerous concerts, doing some out of state touring, recorded four studio albums of original music, sang in my college choir, and toured with a chamber winds group. Now I find much more fulfillment in playing electric guitar for my church's worship music ministry. I've always believed it is important to take one's skills out of the classroom and into real life application.
This is my first year teaching at Burton Middle School but my seventh year teaching. Prior to this year I student taught from 2009-2010 at Quail Valley Middle School, teaching middle school band, choir, and guitar. From 2010-2015 I taught at Farmersville High School, working hard to improve and develop the band, choir, and guitar program. I am still so proud of all the accomplishments which took place in those five years. Most recently from 2015-2016 I taught guitar and general music at Freedom Elementary School. I am really looking forward to working with all of my new students and developing the music program this year at Burton Middle School.
My goal as a music teacher has always been simple. In short, my agenda is "not to teach music, but to teach through music." While of course the students will receive a music education in my class, my goals with the students go much deeper. I want to teach them how to be better leaders, be stronger team players, make cultural connections, have a strong level of patience, obtain the ability to listen, develop a successful work ethic, and set goals they will meet. Through music working as our foundation, we will improve in all of those areas. My personal goal is to always make my family proud of me by being a great, supportive, caring, and providing husband to my beautiful wife Stacey and a loving, humorous, and playful daddy to our 16 month old son Orion.