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What You Don’t Know About Mr. Venutolo

Shannon Flynn

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“Anything worth doing is worth doing well.” these are the words Mr. Venutolo lives by. I had the opportunity to talk with him and ask him a few questions.

What sparked your music interest?

When I was about three years old, I would always love to plunk and play around on the piano. After a while, my parents decided to put me in piano lessons, and I have been playing ever since.

What’s the most fulfilling part of teaching?

I think seeing the finished product. Seeing everything come together at the concerts would be the best part. You work so hard in class, but to actually perform and show off is the whole reason you are working so hard.

How many instruments can you play?

I can play a lot… Let’s see… piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, and organ… so seven.

Why a teacher? You can do many other things that involve music, so why a high school teacher?

I was trying to decide what to do in college. I said, “I’m good at music, I’ll do that.” It wasn’t until late in college that I figured out I wanted to teach. A friend of mine asked if I wanted to be an accompanist for her class, so I did. It was way different than I expected. That experience really opened my eyes. A full time musician is very tough and being a teacher, you get to perform every day. My students are my audience, and I get to inspire them.

Do you have any hidden talents?

A: Not really, I don’t think. Although, I do have perfect pitch.

Out of all your classes, which one do you enjoy most?

It has to be choir. There’s just something about performing every day, and you can really get into the music. With choir, you don’t just sing it you have to bring out the emotion and find the real meaning to a song.

What do you do in your free time?

I’m a family guy. I love to spend time with my daughter. I read with her and watch her dance. Other than family, I’m also into classic video games.

Why are you so dedicated to high school students?

You really have to be. There’s no half-way. I’m more than just a teacher. I’m a mentor and sometimes I’m a therapist. You have a type of bond with students that can’t be broke. It’s more than just teaching, it’s also connecting with the students.

What is the most difficult situation you have been in?

One time, I scheduled the musical on the same day we had a competition. The kids had to wake up early for the competition and had to perform in the musical right after. They were so tired. Needless to say, we never did that again.

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The student news site of Lincoln-Way West High School
What You Don’t Know About Mr. Venutolo