New Faculty Spotlight: Kelby Schnepel

Kelby Schnepel

Teacher – Middle School Music
Department and Program Affiliations:  
Middle School, Orchestra, Music Appreciation

Academic background:
B.S., Music Education, Old Dominion University
M.M.E., Old Dominion University
How long have you been at Norfolk Academy?
This is my first year at Norfolk Academy.

Tell us why you wanted to become an educator:
I am a musician - musicians teach. Beethoven had students. Mozart had students. Hadyn, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Piatigorsky, Karajan, and all of the other famous musicians had students. Teaching is a part of music. It has been central to the art since the beginning, going all the way back to medieval times and Gregorian Chant. What keeps me teaching is getting to see students going through the process, growing in their music skills, and learning how to express ideas and emotions through the nonverbal medium of music.

What most excites you about working at Norfolk Academy?
The chance to be around some amazing people and students. I am sure I will be blown away by the colleagues I meet this year and the students I get to interact with.

Norfolk Academy is unique because…
…throughout the interview process, during the new employee orientation, and while listening to the opening meetings, I have not heard anyone talk about test scores or assessments. I have only heard talk about students’ growth and learning.

Last book read:
I usually read a couple books at a time. So, in order of completion: Pablo Casals and the Art of Interpretation by David Blum, Draft No. 4 by John McPhee, and Looking for the “Harp” Quartet: An Investigation Into Musical Beauty by Markand Thakar.

What do you like to do in your own time/when you’re not working?  
Music is such a huge part of my life and I am always practicing, studying, listening, and thinking about it. I always enjoy time with my family. We love cooking together and we have a few aquariums that we like to maintain.

Favorite food?
Peruvian food. I tried to narrow it down to one dish but it is hard. Peru’s food ranges from stews to ceviche. Growing up, my mother would make Peruvian food for special dinners. Now that I am older my family cooks Peruvian style food more often. There are a lot of stew-type meals, but the peppers and spices used in Peruvian cooking make a simple Lomo Saltado (steak, rice, and potatoes) absolutely amazing.

A movie is being made about your life. Who would they cast to play you?
I’ve been told I look like Dev Patel, so maybe him?

Fun fact your students might find surprising:
I used to box when I was in high school.

“When I grow up, I want to be…”
…sitting in a good, comfy chair next to a fire while it snows outside with a cat on my lap, a dog at my feet, warm coffee nearby, and an orchestral score open with a freshly sharpened pencil. Dull pencils are the worst.