Joy Goetz Conners
Assistant Director, Instructor of Voice and Piano
My Background: I have an undergraduate degree in music education from the University of Heidelberg and a masters degree in music technology from Indiana University. I’ve worked my entire adult life as a public school music educator, teaching strings, choirs, general music, music theory and piano at both the elementary and secondary levels. I’ve also had the privilege of working for over 15 years for the College Board as a consultant in the area of Music Theory and I presently teach music theory and aural skills as adjunct professor at UNC. I’ve also been a church choir director/organist for most of my adult life.
What I love about teaching: My favorite part of teaching is the way that, as a music teacher, I have the ability to share a rich musical heritage with all of my students. Just as my musical mentors transmitted to me both a passion for music and a love of its intricacies, I, in turn, leave a “piece of my soul” inside the lives of each of my students -“a living legacy!” What a JOY! (pun intended!)
One way I help my students succeed and flourish: I have a “CAN DO” attitude with my students; I believe all students can achieve their goals at music and that it is my job to give my students experiences to reach those goals.. One of my pet peeves is when people say “you’re so talented!” I don”t believe in talent- I believe in hard work! I love that saying…“ Hard work BEATS TALENT when talent doesn’t work!” My other favorite saying is ,”Don’t practice till you get it RIGHT, practice till you CAN’T GET IT WRONG!”
Performance Experience: Most of my performance experiences have been in the church, playing and singing great sacred music. Beyond that I’ve spent many years “gigging” at clubs, service organizations and assisted living communities. My specialty is the music of the Great American Songbook …Diana Krall wanna be 🙂
Hometown: Findlay, Ohio (although most of my career I worked in the Indianapolis area.) My twin sister, Jill Burgett, directs choirs at UNC-that’s how I ended up in Greeley.
My Musical Influences: I always say I relate best to BACH- he lived his entire adult life working in the church and had a passion for the pipe organ. I love the mathematical perfection and musical complexity in his compositions. I’ve also had the opportunity to work with great choral directors like Robert Shaw (Robert Shaw Chorale) , Don Neuen (Crystal Cathedral) and James Levine (Metropolitan Opera). They taught me to value GREAT CHORAL MUSIC! Of course I LOVE music of the 20th Century Great American Songbook – Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Ella Fitzgerald, George Gershwin,Johnny Mercer, ect.- it’s my favorite music to SING!
Favorite hobby or activity when not teaching or playing music: walking and playing with my dog, Fanny Mendelssohn Conners. She is a Boston Terrier and the love of my life!
Favorite food: Arugula and feta cheese!