Each month, we are shining the spotlight on our incredibly hard-working and dedicated Program Managers. These TPMS staff members not only ensure students receive access to high-quality music education, but go above and beyond to foster inclusive, tight-knit communities at their program sites. Music education at The People’s Music School simply would not be what it is without them.
Meet Grecia Landin, Program Manager of our Albany Park (AP) site at Hibbard Elementary. Grecia’s passion for music shines through in everything she does – from leading wind ensemble to creating engaging music activities at Hibbard. Each day she works with her students, she can’t help but be reminded of her younger self who always dreamed of teaching music.
Grecia conducts the Albany Park Discover Wind Ensemble at the 2022 Winter Concert
Grecia’s musical journey began in elementary school, when she fell in love with playing her instrument. “My teacher was the main influence – Ms. Stacey Larson. She was my teacher from 5th to 8th grade. I really looked up to her and wanted to have her job!” She feels lucky to have had an enriching environment in which to learn: “I had a great teacher and a community that provided me with a great music education background.” Studying music education at Elmhurst College, Grecia knew she wanted to continue being a part of a musical community.
Leading the Program
Program Coordinator Alejandra Aquino (left) presents student awards alongside Grecia at the 2023 Winter Concert at Albany Park.
As a Program Manager, Grecia not only manages the day-to-day operations of programming, including scheduling, family communications, and faculty management. She also shapes and leads the AP community.
For Grecia, being an expert leader means encouraging others to demonstrate leadership, too. “My role means making sure everyone knows their responsibilities, and feels empowered to take the lead in their teaching and education.” The position demands a high EQ: “You’re motivating others, you’re being there for students and faculty, and you’re being empathetic towards everyone.”
None of it would be possible, Grecia says, without the dedication of AP Program Coordinator Alejandra Aquino. “Alejandra and I work really well together, she really understands the families, students, and faculty. We help each other grow and understand where we may need to ask for help from each other.”
Left: Beginner music students are all smiles before the 2023 Albany Park Winter Concert . Right: Family volunteers serve refreshments after the winter concert.
As The People’s Music School’s first satellite program, The Albany Park program has grown and changed a lot over the years. What began as a program with just 32 strings students has grown to over 130 students strong. And the sense of community at the program has only blossomed with it. “The Albany Park community is great. It’s comprised of families who are hardworking, dedicated, and show you immense love. The students, families and Hibbard faculty and staff have really shown up for The People’s Music School. I feel the support and know I can reach out to families, Principal Leon, or staff members like Mika and they will help me.”
For Grecia, the most rewarding aspect of being at the head of this special community is bearing witness to its growth first hand. The best part of the job is “working with students and seeing their growth from the start to the end of the school year. As well as providing students with performance opportunities and seeing the families support TPMS in volunteering. But perhaps there’s nothing more rewarding than “seeing a concert come to life.”
Life Outside of Music
After a busy day of engaging with students, families, faculty, and staff, Grecia enjoys unwinding through different activities. “I work on finding things that bring me life-work balance like yoga, reading, and being with my family.” Her artistic talents go beyond just music: I enjoy taking salsa classes, and I started taking pottery classes for fun. I’m looking forward to what else I can do besides a bowl!”
The secret to staying inspired and energized? “It’s all about finding my joy and curiosity.”
Words of Wisdom
“Through my professional career,” Grecia says, “I’ve had both music teaching opportunities and teaching roles where It didn’t involve music. I always sought out to stay connected with the arts no matter what.”
And at the center of it all should be community. “Finding your community is important, we need each other to thrive.”