Posting Date: October 15, 2009
Spotlight on Barbara Hammond: A lifelong learner
By Scott Singleton
Photograph by Linda Tincher
Barbara Hammond first experienced the power of music while sitting in her father’s lap as a child and listening to him sing. A few years later, Hammond began taking piano and voice lessons and immediately realized she wanted to teach music. She credits the experience of conducting during a high school chorus class as influential in her passion for teaching music. “I have never wanted to be anything else but a music teacher,” says Hammond.
After working as an elementary school music specialist for 10 years, Hammond joined the KSU faculty in 1985 and now serves as a senior lecturer and program coordinator for music education. With strong family ties, Hammond remained close to home as she received a Bachelor of Music degree from Mercer University along with a master’s degree, an educational specialist degree and doctoral work in music education from Georgia State University.
With a love for music and for her students, Hammond assumes a hands-on approach to teaching that prepares students to become effective teachers. Hammond’s former student, Melody Hauschild (music education, 2009), says that Hammond “took the extra time to make sure I was fully prepared to dedicate my life to teaching. She made sure my organizational skills were finely tuned. She is the most genuine, dedicated and caring professor I’ve ever had.”
Blake Wright, senior music education major, credits Hammond with “lighting the fire” within him for teaching. “Prof. Hammond helped me discover my true teaching style and helped me to understand the power and importance of music education,” says Blake. On the same note, junior early childhood education major Sabrina Gapen says that Hammond “brings to her class a passion for education that is immeasurable.”
In addition to teaching at KSU, Hammond also served as the Faculty Fellow in Character Education for the Siegel Institute for Leadership, Ethics and Character for four years and is an active member of the Atlanta Chapter of Orff Schulwerk, the American Association of University Women and the Cobb Symphony Orchestra Chorus. Hammond has also taught Elderhostel programs at KSU and GSU, conducted music workshops for public school music educators, authored music and character education curricula, taught private piano lessons and served as organist and music director at her church.
All of her accomplishments and activities have served to deepen her love for music. “Music is what language would like to be if it could, and it has been my best friend. The love I have for music has grown through the years, particularly as I know more and more about it. I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge.”