VAPA Foundation Teacher Showcase: Tu Honseng

The VAPA Enhancement Program, which enables teachers in the San Dego Unified School District in grades TK–12 to provide arts enrichment beyond the school budget, is now open for applications for the 2021–22 school year.

Applications will be accepted through October 8, 2021. Recipients will be announced on Oct. 30.

Interview opportunities: Several SDUSD teachers who were selected to receive funds in the last round of VEP grants are available for interviews.

VAPA foundation is proud to be supporting SDUSD teachers, today we showcase:

Tu Honseng, Music Teacher at Wangenheim Middle School

“I applied for the VEP to receive more instruments for the band program at Wangenheim Middle School. When I arrived here, I noticed that our instruments, although mostly working, have seen better days. In order to foster musical growth and success, it is imperative that a student plays on a working, good quality instrument. Without that bare minimum, their likelihood of frustration with themselves is much higher. When students are frustrated with themselves, they are more likely to become unmotivated, thus causing them to leave their musical career before it truly takes off. My interests are to not only boost the numbers within my own program, but to take those same students to the Mira Mesa High School program. This is one of the many steps we as a cluster must complete.

Using the funds provided by the VEP, we purchased eight clarinets. This instrument in particular can be finicky and the condition of the ones that were available at the school were not up to what I deem the bare minimum (working throughout all the instrument’s register). After talking to our VAPA repair team (to whom I owe many thanks), we determined which of these instruments were worth spending resources on repairing. The VEP replaced the instruments beyond reasonable repair and increased the overall inventory.

This year, they will all be used by our beginning bands and I have the confidence of knowing that the students now have a working, good quality instrument to take them through the start of their musical journeys.”

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