General Music Page

Heim B&W picture



Click here for the Carnegie Hall game, Benjamin Britten’s “Young Persons’ Guide to the Orchestra”

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! A musical offering from Mr. McQuillan’s 5th Grade Class

Ukrainian Bell Carol (Carol of the Bells)

Welcome to the Long Branch General Music Page!

Hello!  My name is Will Heim and I am one of the General and Vocal/Choral music teachers at Long Branch Elementary.  I came to Long Branch in Fall 2009, but I began teaching in Arlington Public Schools in 2007 as an ‘itinerant’ teacher, traveling to three schools per week.  Prior to that time, I taught in higher education as a private voice teacher and ensemble director in Texas, South Carolina and the Baltimore/Washington area.  I also performed professionally with several organizations such as Wolf Trap Opera Company, Baltimore Opera and Washington National Opera, Opera Vivente, Cathedral Choral Society, and The In Series.  I moved to the DC area in 1999 to pursue doctoral studies at the University of Maryland-College Park.  I graduated from St. Olaf College, Southern Methodist University and the University of Maryland with degrees in church music, conducting and vocal performance.  I completed my full licensure for education in Spring 2010.

In my free time I enjoy spending time with my wife, Heidi, my son Matthew and daughter Elizabeth, as well as reading, running, biking, swimming, skiing, and occasionally performing.  I am delighted to be here at Long Branch!  Questions? Email me!

Why We Teach Music–a nice credo explaining how music, once considered one of the higher orders of learning, is still integral to a child’s well-rounded development.

Music is a science.
It is exact, specific; and it demands exact acoustics.
A conductor’s full score is a chart, a graph which indicates frequencies, intensities,
volume changes, melody and harmony all at once and with the most exact control of time.Music is mathematical.
It is rhythmically based on the subdivisions of time into fractions
which must be done instantaneously, not worked out on paper.Music is a foreign language.
Most of the terms are in Italian, German or French;
and the notation is certainly not English but a highly developed
kind of shorthand that uses symbols to represent ideas.
The semantics of music is the most complete and universal language.Music is history.
Music usually reflects the environment and times of its creation,
often even the country and/or racial feeling.

Music is physical education.
It requires fantastic coordination of fingers, hands, arms, lip, cheek and facial muscles,
in addition to extraordinary control of diaphragmatic, back, stomach, and chest muscles,
which respond instantly to the sound the ear hears and the mind interprets.

Music is all these things, but most of all, music is art.
It allows a human being to take all of these dry, technically boring
(but difficult) techniques and use them to create emotion.
That is one thing science cannot duplicate;
humanism, feeling, emotion, call it what you will.

That is why we teach music.
Not because we expect our students to major in music
Not because we expect them to play or sing all their life
Not so they can relax
Not so they can have fun.
But so they will be human
So they will recognize beauty
So they will be sensitive
So they will be closer to an infinite beyond this world
So they will have something to cling to
So they will have more love, more compassion, more gentleness, more good–in short, more life.
Of what value will it be to make a prosperous living unless you know how to live?
That is why we teach music.

–Author Unknown