Chorus teacher Mrs. Molly Schad fills Seabury’s campus with music

Kathryn James, Staff Writer

At the far end of campus, just below the library, the sweet sound of angelic voices escapes from Mrs. Molly Schad’s classroom and floats on the breeze. These sweet voices are the fulfillment of Schad’s childhood dream: teaching music to students.

Schad teaches a variety of music classes here at Seabury Hall. Schad teaches high school chorus, middle school chorus, sixth grade music with the new band teacher, Mr. Proctor, and a music writing class which is offered to both seventh and eighth graders.

Schad was born in Pennsylvania, in Boyertown, a small city just outside Philadelphia. She was the fifth of six children.

Every member of her family was extremely musically talented, so for Schad, music came naturally to her. She grew up singing in the house with her entire family. Her father played the guitar and sang, her mother played the piano and sang, and all her older siblings played instruments and sang as well.

By the time Schad was in sixth grade, she was determined to become a music teacher. She was playing piano from the movie “Titanic” when she had a vision of directing her own choir. However, this moment of clarity and certainty about her future didn’t last. She always knew she’d go into a musical career, but her journey to get to where she is now has not always been smooth sailing.

Schad attended Boyertown Area Senior High School and recalled how her high school experience was extremely different from Seabury Hall. The main difference, she said, was that the community at Seabury Hall was different from that at her high school: “You have to search for it, but at Seabury, it’s different. [The community] is immediate.” In high school, she found her community among her fellow musicians in band and chorus.

In her tenth grade year, Schad did not make it into show choir. She tried again in her junior year, and was rejected once again. If it was not for her passion and love for music, she would have wanted to quit singing altogether. Each time she did not make it, she felt embarrassed, like she was not good enough. After two years of self doubt and struggle, Schad finally made it into show choir for her senior year.

After graduating high school, Schad attended the University of Delaware and studied music education, and specialized in choral and general music. It was in college that Schad dabbled in opera singing and fell in love, but ultimately knew that she would pursue a career in music education.

Schad’s journey from Philadelphia to Delaware to Arizona and finally to Maui is an extraordinary one. When asked what prompted her move across country, Schad laughed a little then said, “To be completely honest, I was running away from a boy. I packed up my parents van with all my things, and I drove all the way across the country to Tucson, Arizona.”

With a nostalgic smile and a small shake of her head she recalled how she met her boyfriend and future husband, Tom, on her first night in Arizona.

Schad first came to Seabury Hall with Tom in the fall of 2012 for an open house and fell in love with the school. When she found out that the previous chorus teacher, Mr. Stephen Haines, was retiring, Schad jumped at the opportunity to potentially work at Seabury Hall.

Schad joined the faculty in 2014, and since then, her greatest contribution to the Seabury Hall community is by far the impact she has on her students’ lives. Through her role as a teacher, Schad hopes to positively influence the lives of her students and thereby make the world a little bit better of a place. In an effort to accomplish this goal of hers, Schad makes sure to bring energy and enthusiasm to each of her classes.

In the words of Taylie Kawakami, a sophomore in chorus, “There’s never a dull class when
she’s teaching. She’s just so amazing and full of energy. It’s awesome.”

As an experienced musician and teacher, Schad’s advice to her students is as follows: “Approach each day with curiosity and welcome changes and learning opportunities. Make the most of it.” And to those who are not in any of her classes: “Try something outside of your comfort zone. Stop saying that you can’t, that’s simply a mental block and not a physical problem with your voice.” So, for those of you who are unsure about chorus, or even piano, give it a try.

Schad shared, “The more you put yourself in uncomfortable situations you’re going to get better and the hard work is going to pay off. Find a supportive friend and try something new.”

Correction: An headline published yesterday misspelled Mrs. Molly Schad’s last name. It is Schad, not Shad.