2024 Golden Apple Finalists

Timothy Perian

Tim Perian of Machesney Park has taught music at alma mater Harlem High School all 8 years of his teaching career. A student’s mother wrote he “goes out of his way to make sure all his students feel welcomed. He decides which piece of music [each band] will play to better learn instruments but also to perform. Harlem is a better school because of Mr. P.” Tim has grown the program to include beginning band class to allow “students who did not have the opportunity to start band in middle school to join. This has allowed dozens of students to be part of the instrumental music program who otherwise would have been unable to.” He’s added classes in music appreciation, AP Music Theory and digital music production and is developing a piano class. At the start of the pandemic, Tim communicated to students that though he was unsure what was ahead, he was “committed to making music with them in any way possible.” He learned video editing, produced a video of a performance students recorded in the cafeteria while six feet apart, did a virtual video of students playing parts from home and held a parking lot concert. His students were on local news and Good Morning America! Tim has increased parent volunteerism, added a marching band color guard and improved student retention from middle to high school band. He promotes inclusivity, sharing pieces by composers who are of color, female and LGBTQ+. Classroom observers remarked about his positive feedback and how students eagerly made adjustments to meet or exceed his expectations. Tim is not only teaching notes and performance skills though. When discussing a less than stellar past performance, he didn’t dwell on negatives, rather, he reminded students they should always strive for excellence, not just in class, but in life. As students gain experience and skill, he grants them advanced roles to further leadership skills. At his interview, Tim expressed his hopes to teach students about teamwork, time management, commitment, cooperation and other soft skills through music. One interviewer wrote he was “incredibly moving in his passion for teaching. He strives to not only create great musicians, but great lifelong learners.”