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Messick launches her own music studio
Terry Messick
A music teacher for three generations, Ripon’s Terry Messick is voicing concern about the lack of music classes especially in the public elementary schools – and she’s trying to make a difference.

She found her nitch years ago and she is once again trying to fill a community need with a music studio she has set up in her home.

Since her recent exit from the Ripon High School ranks in June she has been unable to find employment elsewhere in her field that got its start at University of the Pacific. It is there she majored in Music Education and studied piano under Dr. Wolfgang Fetch.  She also sang in the a capella choir there for five years with Dr. William Dehning as she went on to graduate school at UOP.

Terry Messick had nearly 1,000 former students and parents come to her defense on a specially set up Facebook page while she was being ushered through administrative law hearing that would eventually censure her for not taking required CLAD classes that she finally completed.

She pretty much represents an unused talent at this juncture after the school district achieved its goal to see that she would be sidelined – a talent forgotten after a career that underscored what was best for kids.

Messick’s Music Studio (MMS) states its passion for music is “shared, taught and enjoyed.”  She is offering private and group lessons at all levels of piano, voice, guitar and theory along with all beginning bang instruments.  And, she promises affordable prices that most families should be able to afford in today’s economy.

One point that was effectively made during the recent months hearing suggested that the school district had only demanded the CLAD classes be an imperative for the teachers because the district was in fear of a state lawsuit, not because it was beneficial to students.

“Since when did a little piece of paper (or lack of it) suddenly made a credentialed, experienced, effective teacher fit (or unfit) to teach?” she asked.  

“I worked with Mrs. Messick for 15 years at both elementary and secondary levels, helped with costume design, band at graduation and the Almond Festival,” one parent wrote.  

“Our son played in the band, sang in the choir and participated in drama.  She effectively has taught the love of music, drama and life lessons to generations of students during her 30-year tenure.  She encourages empathy, cooperation and camaraderie among totally diverse segments of the school population.  The most effective language acquisition method is total immersion, and she immerses her students,” a retired teaching comrade noted.

Presently Messick has a strong desire to teach.  Without a doubt the first day of school in August was a tear jerker more than the normal reaction of retired teachers seeing kids in the neighborhood heading off toward the bus.