Arts in Education Week: Mr. Driskell

Connie JacksonArts, Band, Faculty Spotlight, Music, Spotlight

Mr. Driskell playing guitar and walking with St. Luke's students

More Than a Music Teacher.

r. Daniel Driskell is St. Luke's newest music teacher and band director.

All of our Wildcats will get to know Mr. Driskell, because he is teaching music on both campuses this year. Learn more about Mr. Driskell as we celebrate National Arts in Education Week.

St. Luke's: Describe yourself.
Daniel Driskell: I am from Mobile, Alabama where I went to Baker High School and the University of South Alabama. I also attended Florida State University. I am proud to be a performer, teacher, arranger, and a father. I was blessed to have excellent teachers who inspired me to learn a variety of styles in music and different instruments.

I began playing the piano at age 7 and my dad was persistent that I continue throughout my school years. Before I knew it, I had fallen in love with playing, listening, and writing music! I spent a lot of time playing music in churches, practicing classical music, playing in jazz bands, and learning from my peers, mentors, and friends.

SL:   What led you to want to become a teacher in the fine or performing arts?
DD:   I love to see the change that music can make in a person. It was inspiring to watch Mrs. Ellen, Dr. Holm, and Mr. Middleton (three of my piano/guitar teachers) and to see the love they had for each student as they worked to encourage and challenge each one at different levels of ability and experience.

SL:   Why should the fine and performing arts play a key role in a student’s education?
DD:   Appreciating the arts is a key to one’s overall education, sophistication, emotional well being, and interaction with others. It reaches us in a personal way touching our very spirits.

SL:   Do you collaborate with other departments within the school? If so, how?
DD:   Of course! I love to work with the chorus, drama, and art teacher on projects that show our students’ talents. We are planning several events this year that are collaborative and engaging in a multi-sensory approach including our plays, chapel events, and the Wildcat Winter Extravaganza.

SL:   How do you connect fine and performing arts to other subjects?
DD:   Music is definitely connected to many other subjects. I love to show students how the phrases in music are like a sentence, with punctuation and crescendo. Every note of music can be explained mathematically using music theory, from chord progressions to melodies.


SL:   How do you promote interest in fine and performing art classes with the student body?
DD:   I am privileged to work with students of all ages at St. Luke’s. It is a joy to see them singing, dancing, and making music as they learn to participate in an ensemble.

SL:   What is your teaching method/philosophy?
DD:   I always use a “hands on” approach to learning. Often students can find new abilities and learn to appreciate others by playing the drums, piano, ukulele, bells, guitar, etc… As I always tell people “If you have never seen or touched a harp, how would you know that you want to play one.”

SL:   How do students know they belong in your program/class?
DD:   I believe that any student can learn to use their talent for singing and/or playing instruments. God has given us all certain abilities but most great artists got where they are through hard work and perseverance.

SL:   Describe the trajectory, vision, future, etc of St. Luke’s fine and performing arts program.
DD:   I am looking forward to the future at St. Luke’s. We have many talented students with positive attitudes. Participation is one of the main goals I have, letting all students, faculty, and families know that they have a place in the arts. We hope that people in the community will start to hear good things from our performances, parades, shows, sporting events, academics, and more.

Thanks Mr. Driskell for helping us celebrate National Arts in Education Week!