Although his official job title is instrumental music teacher, Grandview Heights High School's new band director knows he'll be teaching students a lot more than melodies.
"What students learn by being part of a marching band, orchestra or choir are things that will have an impact the rest of their lives," Chris Herrmann said.
"They are developing life skills, like time management, leadership, cooperation, humility and responsibility, that have nothing to do with music," he said, "They're learning how to be a member of a team, working together on a common goal, understanding their role and supporting others, and those life skills will be important long after they leave high school."
Herrmann previously served as an instrumental music teacher in the Whitehall City School District.
"Grandview has a fantastic reputation as a community and academically," he said. "When this opportunity came up, I couldn't pass it up."
This year, the instrumental band program is completing its move into the high school's former wrestling room.
"It's great for us because it gives us a lot more room," Herrmann said. "That's really needed when you have 130 students participating in the band."
He said his love of music and his desire to become a teacher were inspired by a series of instructors he had in middle school, high school and college.
"Outside of my friends and family, no one has had a bigger impact on me than my music teachers," Herrmann said. "They were all so student-centered. They influenced me musically and as role models. They were more than just teachers to me."
The best part of being a music teacher is watching as students develop leadership skills or break through the challenge of a difficult performance or musical piece, he said.
The Grandview band performed its first concert Sunday, Aug. 10, at Marble Cliff's Falco Park.
"I thought it went really well, especially since we only had eight rehearsals before the concert," Herrmann said. "The students did a really good job."
Along with performances at football games and the pep band's appearances at basketball games, the high school will maintain its standard schedule of concerts and performances through the school year, he said.
One of his long-term goals is to secure new uniforms for the band, Herrmann said.
"We need to replace the uniforms. They are 31 years old this fall," he said. "There's been some small talk about it, but the process to replace the uniforms hasn't begun yet. It's something I think the students and community want to see."