December 2014

Meet Michael Hanson
Mike Hanson
“I have always thought that one of the primary purposes of music is to make us more fully human through the creation and appreciation of beauty. When Cathy (his wife, and the founding faculty member of the MacLaren Orchestra Program) related her experiences as a MacLaren teacher, it seemed like the most natural fit for me to teach there as well.” – Michael Hanson, Orchestra Teacher

Michael Hanson grew up in a musical family. His mother was a conservatory-trained pianist and as he listened to her play as a young boy, a desire grew within him to be able to play music like she did. Although his introduction to the world of music had come through her piano playing, when he heard the sound of the violin for the first time, he knew that this was the right instrument for him. Beginning at the age of 5, he took private lessons and then, over time, discovered that he wanted to make a career of music. Mr. Hanson relates, “I think one of the roles of teachers and parents is creating possibilities” and as he looks back on his own life, it is these possibilities that were created for him that led him to realize that he actually could make his career that of playing and teaching music.

Michael Hanson joined the faculty of MacLaren in 2010. He had been teaching private lessons and in school settings for many years before he joined MacLaren. This was in addition to his professional career as the Concertmaster for the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, a position that he has held for over 20 years. He taught with MacLaren for two years and then left for two years, responding to the crucial need for a violin teacher in one of the larger school districts in town. After developing a foundational curriculum for that program, he has returned to MacLaren this year, to the delight of the students and his fellow faculty members.

When asked to convey any additional thoughts he has about the MacLaren Orchestra Program, Mr. Hanson had this to say, “The MacLaren Orchestra Program is very unusual, and perhaps unique, in that we are part of the curriculum of the school rather than an opt in/opt out program, and yet it is not an arts-based curriculum. The program is a bold embodiment of the area of the mission of the school regarding the importance of creating beauty. Practicing instrumental skills reinforces the work ethic needed for academic success at MacLaren, occasionally with rapid results, but more often through steady progress over years that allows students and families to enjoy beautiful performances. A MacLaren education is a very special experience, and it is a privilege to be part of it!"

-Katherine Brophy, Director of Marketing and Admisisons
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