Meet the Interns: Mateen Milan
Mateen Milan is one of the teaching interns here at orchkids for our summer program. Today is Mateen’s last day working with us until the fall, but hopefully he will be coming back to help later in the fall.
Mateen, Let me start off by thanking you for being available to participate in this interview. Could you just tell us a little history of yourself, where you are from, where you currently go to school, what you’d like to do when you’re finished with school?
I’m from East Baltimore and I am currently going to the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA), I’m in my last year. After high school, I plan on just completely jumping into a conservatory or university, like Boston University, New England Conservatory or Peabody Conservatory. I would also like to possibly start my own project like OrchKids in another city or state.
That’s great! Do you feel that BSA has prepared you for college?
BSA has definitely helped me with my time management and prioritizing, so that in a hectic time, I can effectively manage what I need to do to get around everything.
When you arrive at Orchkids, what is your daily schedule like?
That’s very flexible, I usually work with the smaller, Mary Ann Winterling kids, so around 8:30 I work with Ms. Karen on Violin and Trumpet, and Mr. Easy with their production, because they are working on something small. I also work with the OrchKids’ Bucket Band, and they go outside and that’s a crazy situation right there! From there, they go to chorus with Pete, which is fun. Then they go to lunch and they take the ones that need leave back to the front door and go back outside with them. I like to switch it up and work with the older kids at their orchestra rehearsal because one of my students is in there and I feel a connection with her because we are both bassoonists.
Do you prefer to work with the older kids?
It does not matter to me, because honestly, with the older students, it is just a connection, like seeing old friends, so I have no problem meeting and working with them. With the younger kids, it is a lot more sentimental; seeing and growing with them and making bonds. There’s this one kid named Junior that I love! But again, it doesn’t matter how old they are to me.
Apart from ‘loving’ your students, how do you handle situations where they might be misbehaving?
I don’t really consider it to be misbehaving, I just understand that more often than not, it’s a miscommunication; a small situation that has turned into a big one. There’s been a bunch of times that one of the students will have found something small that is wrong with a situation and all of the sudden the student will loose all interest in playing, or like Junior gets pinched and now he’s in a bad mood. So again, I don’t really see it as bad behavior, it’s just something happened that was a trigger, which can easily make the students shut off.
Interesting, so how do you reward good behavior?
Good behavior? I love good behavior, so like, when one of my students did really well in her rehearsal, I had known she’d really wanted to play an etude, so I printed it out for her and worked through it with her. Anytime she just genuinely wants help, you know, I do my best.
How many kids do you teach personally?
Between 10 and 12, depending on the day and what they are doing.
Do you see yourself continuing in your teaching career in the future?
Oh yeah, of course. I understand that the cycle of a musician, basketball player, or anything really, is to learn. expand on it, and then teach it. So for me, there has never been a doubt in my mind that I will be teaching in the future, I’m just going to do it for the rest of my life.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to add to the blog?
Bring your kids to Orchkids!!