A new faculty member we’re excited to hear from this year is Maxwell Lowery, who is taking on the position of music specialist at the Museum District Campus. Maxwell is a classically trained violist and composer with a degree in music theory. He grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and attended college in Cleveland, Ohio, so he’s “excited to live in the south for the first time and feel warm in the winter!”
We asked him to answer some questions so we can get to know him. Read on!
How did you get started in your profession? How did you know you wanted to do this? What are you most proud of?
I started learning the viola in elementary school and quickly realized that I had a strong interest not only in playing my instrument, but in arranging and composing music, reading about music history, and sharing my knowledge and passion with others. While I was a student at the Cleveland Institute of Music, I was a teaching assistant for the music theory department and a curriculum designer and presenter for the online Distance Learning program. I found that I love sharing what I know about music just as much as performing!
I am most proud of my original composition for flute, viola, and harp trio, called “Moonlit Seascape,” which won first prize in the Cleveland Composers’ Guild Collegiate Composition Contest in January 2020.
How were you introduced to Montessori?
I was introduced to Montessori this summer when I was hired. I admire Dr. Montessori’s observations about the planes of development and the importance of understanding students’ experiences, and I'm looking forward to implementing this in my own teaching.
Why did you choose to work at Post Oak? (And how long have you worked here?)
This is my first year working at Post Oak. My partner is a graduate music student at Rice University, and I was so happy to find a place right next door where I could share my excitement about the exploration of music and creativity with students.
In your opinion, what’s the best part of teaching? What's the most challenging?
I love sharing my emotional connection to music with people of all backgrounds. My primary aspiration is that students will appreciate many types of music and form their own personal connection.
A challenge in teaching an artistic discipline specifically is finding the balance between in-class experiential learning, and out-of-class work. Both are necessary in learning well-rounded musicianship.
What's your favorite part of working with children or adolescents? What makes a “good day” at school?
I appreciate the enthusiasm and energy with which young musicians engage with new ideas and sounds. A good day at school cultivates a collaborative, mutually respectful, and globally conscious discussion space regardless of the lesson topic.
Who or what inspires you? What has influenced you most in your work?
My viola teacher in college was a kind, selfless, and supportive mentor for me and all his students. He inspired me to be a positive influence for those around me. I look forward to creating the same nurturing environment for my students at Post Oak.
What do you do for fun? What are your hobbies? What do you like about Houston?
I love nature and appreciate any opportunity to visit beautiful outdoor spots. My favorite spot is Estes Park, Colorado, where I spent four weeks playing music in the mountains at the Rocky Ridge Music Center. One day I hope to visit Angel Falls in Venezuela. In addition to hiking, I also love cycling. I can't wait to comfortably go out on my bike in Houston's temperate winters!
I also love baking cookies, one of the most shareable baked goods!
Anything else we should know?
I look forward to meeting all of you at Post Oak very soon!