Mr. Denny Bui: A New Understanding

New orchestra student teacher Denny Bui strives to develop communication skills with students in order to gain a deeper understanding of their day-to-day lives and to inspire them to foster a passion and pursuit for music.

Bui’s passion for music developed into a teaching career after first picking up the violin in the fourth grade. He led his first small musical group while attending high school and began teaching music at the high school he graduated from for a short amount of time. He currently works with a youth orchestra every Sunday and is completing his music teaching credential at California State University, Long Beach.

“I know that I love music. In high school, I started teaching music and learning how to lead the group and thought it was pretty cool. As I got more into it, the analogical aspect became cooler. I loved how [audiences’] faces would light up as we played the music and it was really inspiring,” Bui said.

Under the direction of Dr. Clements and Mr. Wicks, Bui assists with the teaching of Band and Orchestra. Bui not only focuses on the technicalities of the music he directs but also seeks to understand high school students.

“I’ve learned a lot of classroom management, like how to interact with students during their good and bad days,” Bui said. “I’m going to keep doing my best and give anything that the students need, such as teaching them unfamiliar techniques and helping them to learn to listen more. I would also empower them to be able to make good decisions.”

Bui seeks to improve his students’ listening abilities by constantly reminding them and other instrument sections playing the same line to pay attention to their surroundings.

“When playing music, you have to listen. Always listen. You have to understand where you fit in and where you stand,” Bui said. “You can’t be louder than anyone else. You have to match everyone else. It’s a group effort.”

Bui has taught seasonally at Alhambra High School and Rosemead High School to prepare their band for competitions such as the Winter Guard International. Using the skills he will be acquiring as a Walnut student teacher, Bui plans to apply for a job as a high school music director after completing his credentials.

“I would love to come back to Walnut to be a director here,” Bui said. “I really like the environment and students. I hope to gain more rehearsal techniques and better ways to teach. I want to learn how the directors interact and deal with students. The students here are incredibly talented, the faculty is very kind and it’s not like any other school.”

By Irene Zhou, Staff writer
Photo by Kevin Arifin

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