Music Teachers

Media Contact: Lindsey Goudreau, Marketing Communications Specialist (207) 443-8330 |

Phippsburg, ME (October 19, 2021) - Phippsburg Elementary School is in tune with its music program. After the retirement of well-loved music teachers Louine Gagnon and Kathy Downing last year, PES wasted no time finding two stellar educators to carry on the school’s love of music: music teacher Celina Reed and band teacher Josh Caron.

“When we both found out we had been hired, we started meeting almost weekly to coordinate our plans for the year,” Caron said. “We became friends and have begun a great partnership.”

Caron received his Bachelor of Music in Contemporary and Popular Music from the University of Maine at Augusta earlier this year.

“I’ve always been a musician on the side – teaching private drum lessons, assisting the marching band at Edward Little High School in Auburn – and I decided I wanted music to become my focus,” he said. “This is the perfect midlife career change for me.”

Reed was born in New York and has traveled across the country as a musician and music teacher. She earned her Bachelor of Music Education from the University of Central Arkansas; she and her husband moved to Maine to “get back home” to New England.

“My goal is to have students love coming to the music classroom. Music can be intimidating because of high standards and expectations. I come at music from the perspective of music play,” Reed said, describing how she allows students to explore music by listening and experimenting with instruments before tackling technicalities.

All grades have music class with Reed once a week, and fourth and fifth graders also have band class with Caron. Once hired, Caron wasted no time assessing the school’s supply of instruments, most of which had sat dormant for over a year due to COVID-19. The school supplied funding to have the instruments cleaned, serviced, and ready for use. Ukuleles will soon be added to the school’s repertoire as well; a donation from national non-profit DonorsChoose.

Although they teach a variety of instruments, Reed and Caron have their favorites. Reed, who was a jazz singer in Philadelphia and taught high school choir in Arkansas, favors voice as an instrument. “You can take your voice wherever you go,” she said. “I love teaching a song in class and then hearing students sing it later on the playground or bus.”

Caron’s favorite instrument (although he loves them all) is the drum. “Drums are unusually beautiful and enticing to someone who wants to delve into music. They are a great gateway instrument,” he said.  

Caron and Reed are looking forward to showing off their students’ progress at the school’s Winter Concert (scheduled for Thursday, December 16) and are happy to have joined the PES community.

“The staff has been so incredibly supportive here,” Reed said. “Music is treated like a real academic class and given the attention it deserves.” 

Reed also teaches music to K-2 students at Dike-Newell School, where all students are fortunate enough to participate in her class once a week.