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Connecting those who knew Sarah Gianos

December 09, 2011

Please listen to yet another tribute to Sarah Gianos, the wonderful music teacher at Wilson Middle School who died on Nov. 18 (“Sarah Gianos was one of the best,” Nov. 29).

Three days prior, Gianos came — radiant and happy to the music room — to let the children see her again. Most of them thought she was returning to work. They were exuberant. Few realized she was weak and in pain.

For many children, this was the first death of a loved one.

Gianos had built that music department despite the district’s financial cuts. She was there for 12 years. Her specialty was the violin, but the students said she played and taught every instrument.

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Every spring she found enough money to buy several more instruments for the school. Each day she taught hundreds of 12- to 14-year-olds, influencing thousands of young musicians.

She called them her kids. I spoke with two college students who had received their start with Gianos, and now they’ve dedicated their lives to following in her footsteps.

Gianos was definitely a one-of-a-kind person. She was an athlete, a very brave person and very skilled in teaching this age group.

The students are very fragile. Most clam up; some act out. One cried and wailed for half an hour, then announced “I’m over it now.”

Not true. Not possible.

The students and teachers need to share anecdotes and sentiments; they will feel particular release when they are connecting with someone who knew Gianos, too.

Sigrid Rochte

Glendale
 
 

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