Written By: Anastasia Everding
Andrew Julian is the instrumental program’s newly hired director; he is the third director in the past three years. While these leadership changes have affected student progress in musical education, Mr. Julian is motivated to put the program back on track. He is a well-experienced music educator who aspires to enhance the program, bring out the full potential in all of his students and make this year the best it’s ever been.
Prior to coming to our instrumental program, Julian taught for 20 years at three different local high schools. He started his career at Mater Dei High School, then landed a job at his first public school, Laguna Hills High School. Most recently, he taught music at Trabuco Hills High School. Aspects he thinks are important to successful programs include access to music classes of interest to students and long-term student commitment. He strives to provide engaging music education for all students throughout their high school experience, while also teaching essential skills for life including responsibility, diligence, and hard work.
Julian is not only committed to his career as an educator, but he is also a committed family man to his wife, son, and daughter. Balancing career and family life is a difficult task but through time management he puts 100% into both. Being an instrumental director is a challenging position because “you need to have someone who can balance the teaching and administrative duties” says Julian.
Julian enjoys giving his students the opportunity to learn new music and he feels satisfied “when [a student] has learned about music [they] didn’t know was out there”. He greatly emphasizes the importance of music because “we are advocates for this art form and if we don’t advocate it, it’s going to go away”. He expresses his love for music through his teaching, which makes him an impressive teacher for the students in the instrumental program.
When Julian first came to teach at Newport Harbor High School, he implemented a new standard that a student in the marching band must also register in a concert class. His justification is that he wants to provide proper music education for each student, and if they have separate classes to work with him one on one, they will become better musicians more efficiently. Another change he is implementing to the instrumental program is that the jazz band won’t be a year-round class and it will only take place as a zero period during the second semester, replacing the marching band. Some students disagree with the changes he is adding, but from his experience, these requirements in the instrumental program will yield improved results. He appreciates that the students trust his experience and that they are responding positively to the program evolution.
Julian is an ardent believer that change is good and being adaptable is a vital skill for life. The students and the parents appreciate his presence in the music program and look forward to the education he’ll bring to bright, young musicians with potential who want to learn music.