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Meet Victoria Nelson

Meet Victoria Nelson, Kidznotes Percussion Teaching Artist

Meet Percussionist Victoria Nelson, one of many talented teaching artists at our Wake County nucleo. Victoria takes a moment from teaching to talk about her Kidznotes experience and how she started her own musical journey.  

Where are you from originally?

Asheville, NC

How long have you worked for Kidznotes?

2.5 years

What is your favorite thing about educating musicians here at Kidznotes?

My favorite thing about teaching at Kidznotes is watching the students grow, emotionally and musically. Some of the students that I initially met in my first year teaching Mozart bucket band are now entering the Vivaldi level. It’s amazing to see the ways in which they have changed and matured.

How did you start your musical journey? And, how did you decide to be a percussionist?

I started out in piano lessons, and then entered band in school in 6th grade. I actually wanted to play a brass instrument, but couldn’t muster the air, so they stuck me in the percussion section. Turns out, that was the right spot to be! In high school I attended Brevard Music Center, where I was immersed in music 24 hours a day for the first time. On our last symphony concert there, while playing Stravinsky’s “Firebird,” I had my musical epiphany moment where I realized this was what I wanted to do.

Where do you play professionally?

I am the principal percussionist for the Fayetteville Symphony and the Durham Symphony, the principal timpanist for the Raleigh Symphony, and I occasionally play with North Carolina Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle. I also play percussion for the contemporary ensemble Earspace, and drumset for the Durham Flash Chorus.

What advice would you give our musicians to be successful in life?

Treat others better than you like to be treated, be patient in all things, and play with purpose. 

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Victoria teaches students in her bucket drum class.

What would you say to encourage your fellow teaching artists? 

It can be challenging to see the progress each child makes day to day. I recommend stepping back occasionally, to attempt to see the larger trajectory of our students. I find that I often only do this after our semester concerts, but I hope to take the time to reflect more often in the future. Think back to where they were when they entered your class for the first time, and where they are today. Their time and relationship with us is invaluable. 

What kinds of things do you like doing outside of music? 

Being from Asheville, a love for hiking is basically bred into me. I also play lots of board games and read lots of books.

Anything interesting you would like to share? 

My favorite instrument to play is the crash cymbals! My favorite instrument to teach is the snare drum.

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