Person of the Week: Hooper hits the right note at HCISD

Jason Hooper spends most of his days surrounded by music. Whether it’s at his day-job, performing with musical groups or just practicing at home, he always has a tune playing in his head.

Hooper has turned his passion for music into his career by working as the Director of orchestral studies at Harlingen High School South, Coakley Middle School and Vela Middle School.

“I really do love my students,” Hooper said. “I like that the students work hard for me, and have great parental support. They make the job fun for me.”

Hooper works closely with each campus to progress their musical abilities with approaches that differ from most classrooms. Hooper is constantly reading about technology and practice to help increase the learning curve, and how to use the brain to increase learning capacity.

“Our approach is different, we do it in a repetitious kind of way,” Hooper said. “ We repeat certain areas of studies and take a short break. It happens in a cycle and it allows the body to progressively learn.”

In addition to his teaching style, Hooper has also been known to keep things lively at his students’ concerts.

“At some concerts, I play a couple of songs with my students,” Hooper said. “I have them conduct while I play with their instruments. It gives everyone a different perspective.”

He grew up with music around him. His uncle was the concertmaster at the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra, and that prompted him to ask how to play the violin, Hooper said.  Although he still plays the violin, he has branched out to other instruments.

This will be his seventh year at the Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District. In addition to working with HCISD, Hooper has performed with different musical groups across the Rio Grande Valley, and will often travel outside the Valley to play.

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