Northern Potter Music Department

Welcome to Northern Potter,
Mr. Vought!

We are very excited to introduce the newly appointed MS/HS music teacher, Mr. Don Vought! Mr. Vought's rich and diverse background in music will be a great contribution to the Northern Potter family. Please keep reading to learn more about him...

"I was raised in a musical family. My grandfather played flute, piccolo, and sax in numerous bands all his life. My mother played the flute in state band. I have a cousin who is a college professor and opera singer and my brother is a retired high school music teacher. With that lineage, it was hard not to become a musician.

I began playing trumpet in 3rd grade and took formal lessons through junior high and some of high school. I was involved in every possible music program all through school including concert band, marching band, orchestra, pep band, stage band, jazz band, musical pit orchestra, chorus, and onstage for my senior musical. I began playing the guitar during high school while taking music theory classes during my junior and senior years.

My music took a very short hiatus right after school but not for long. My wife, Sandra, and I wrote and sang our wedding song. I began leading singing with our church youth group and church.

We moved to Coudersport in 1991 and I got involved leading worship and directing the choir at our church. I played trumpet and bass guitar in dozens of musicals, both high school and community. I’ve played in a local swing band and jazz trios. I’ve written about a dozen worship and scripture songs. In 2005 I started teaching private music lessons, averaging 20 students each week. A recent highlight was getting to play with The King’s Brass, a world-traveled brass ensemble.

I started and completed my bachelors and masters degree in elementary education while in my 50s and just got my elementary ed and music certifications. I enjoy woodworking and vegetable gardening with my wife of 40 years. We have three grown children and eight grandchildren who are scattered around the country.

I look forward to continuing and developing a great tradition of music here at Northern Potter."

The Northern Potter Junior/Senior High School provides daily music classes for grades 7 through 12, as well as extracurricular music activities throughout the school year.

All students in 7th and 8th grade have a music appreciation class on a 9 week rotation. Each course is designed with the particular students' musical interests in mind, and students are able to choose which units they want to learn about. Generally, students tend to choose units on guitar, keyboards, drumming, beat-making, and genres.

Students in 7th through 12th grades are able to sign up for performing ensemble classes. These classes include Middle School Concert Band, High School Concert Band, Chorus, and Modern Band. In these classes, students are building techniques on their instrument, learning how to read music and interpret music history, and building a reliable ear. In addition to their daily classes, private lessons and sectional lessons are available as scheduled throughout the school day. A particular focus of these ensembles also goes beyond music and music making; these classes are in large part designed to give students the opportunity to consistently practice active listening, critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, and creativity in a positive environment.

In addition to classes held during the day, the music department also offers extracurricular music activities based on student availability. In the spring, we perform our annual fund-raiser, Dinner Theater, usually performed in March. Extracurricular groups, as well as groups that meet during school, will perform. There will also be opportunities for students to showcase individual and small ensemble talents!

The Northern Potter Children's School schedules weekly music classes for grades K4 through 6. Readiness for music literacy is emphasized in the primary grades using First Steps in Music by Dr. John Feierabend as students become "TUNEful, BEATful, and ARTful." Once achieving readiness, Children's School students begin reading music using Conversational Solfege. Each lesson also includes "doing" music and "about" music activities to broaden and enrich students' music experience. Doing music includes singing, classroom instruments and folk dancing which are woven throughout the years of music education. The way we study about music changes over the years as we study composers and their specific works, musical theater, film music, many genres and time periods.

There are performance opportunities for students in grades 3-6 through band and chorus. Students in those grades are invited each year to participate in chorus and beginning in 5th grade, students may elect to learn a band instrument. Band students are placed in group instrumental lessons which are provided weekly during the school day.

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