Jonathan Weppler is in his sixth year of teaching general music at Butterfield Elementary School in Libertyville, Illinois. He holds an undergraduate degree from Hope College in Holland, Michigan and a Masters Degree from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, Illinois. Jonathan currently directs an extra curricular choir at Butterfield Elementary and the Lake County Boy's Choir in affiliation with the Red Rose Children's Choir of Lake County (rrcchoir.org). He continues to perform on a regular basis in and around the Chicagoland area.
Fun Facts For Students:
All questions or facts written below were inspired by students. Do you have a question for Mr. Weppler that you would like added? If so, write a message to him on the "Contact" page.
When is your birthday? February 28th
Where did you grow up? Libertyville - Born, raised, returned.
What is your favorite color? Blue
What is your favorite restaurant? Hitz, Bills Pub, Tasty Thai, Hong Kong Chop Suey, Wildfire, the list goes on. I like all different kinds of food!
Since your not teaching, what is your favorite thing to do in the summer? (MP) Each summer is full of new things. Two of my summers were spent going back to school to continue my own education. I know there will be a lot more of that to come in the future as well. I have also picked up jobs were I continue to teach music during summer - sometimes as private voice lessons, or as a music director for a musical theater group. When I am not doing anything with music or teaching, I like to spend time with my family (my wife and dog) - go for walks, play baggo, go bike riding, and all sorts of other fun outdoor activities.
What is your favorite thing to teach in music? (MP) I don't know if I have a favorite topic to teach. I love teaching everything, from how to sing using a proper 'singing voice' to preparing for fun showcases, to teaching music theory (like the names of the notes, what kinds of notes there are and how long we hold them, etc.). I know I am in the correct job since I love all aspects about my job! What makes me enjoy everything is that I notice the students enjoy some of the fun and easy things, but I LOVE having those moments when I see some students start to understand the difficult parts in music.
Who was your childhood music inspiration? As a child, I would listen to music all the time. Oldies, pop, rock, musical theater and more. I cannot actually name one band or artist that was a main inspiration. I was inspired to sing by listening to all music and not just one main artist. In High School I found Josh Groban and he quickly became my musical inspiration and musical role model.
Who is your favorite band/artist? And what is your favorite song? I can answer this question easily - Josh Groban. I love everything about Josh Groban's music from the instrumentation to the lyrics. His music always has a great message behind it. Favorite song? Anything by Josh Groban, but I really like: February Song and Changing Colors.
Did you always want to teach? No… Actually, I started college wanting to be a singer or musical theater actor. I was told that I needed a back-up, so I took an education class to see if I would enjoy teaching and I loved it! Performing has always been a love of mine, but I discovered my passion was to teach. As a teacher, I want to share my love of music with my students to create and foster a love of music in the children's lives. Music was such an important part of my life, I hope it becomes an important part in my students.
What has been your favorite vacation? South Africa! When I was in college, I went on a trip to South Africa with my choir. We traveled to Cape Town and Johannesburg. We performed in townships, schools, and a couple of music festivals. It was a great trip and we even got to stay overnight at a wildlife reservation where we saw many animals up close without any barriers in-between us. After checking into our reservation cottage for the night they took us on a safari. This was a great trip that I never would have gone on if it wasn't for being a part of a choir!