Mr. Blair Callaway is an instructor of Music Education at JSU. He is from Ringgold, GA, but he got his B.S. in Education from JSU and M.A. in Education from the University of North Alabama.
The opportunity to work with future educators is what brought Callaway back to his alma matter, with the Spring 2021 semester being his second. He says that he never imagined he would be working at JSU, so being here is a great honor for him. He looks forward to live performances from JSU’s Music and Theatre & Film departments, as well as the baseball, basketball, and football games.
This semester, Callaway is teaching Class Piano II, Beginning Band Foundations, Introduction to Music Education, and Band Literature for Teachers. His favorite course is Band Literature because of his personal enjoyment for band music and searching for and listening to new pieces. Callaway loves that his current job allows him to play piano nearly every day. As for the Music Department itself, he enjoys that it is full of supportive faculty and numerous life-long friends.
Coming from twenty-eight years of being a high school instructor, Callaway finds that the change in teaching schedule is the greatest difference. He also mentioned that the transition from a performance-based classroom to a lecture-styled one has been slightly challenging. His experience as a high school teacher will inform courses taken by music education majors.
Though Callaway is just beginning his career at JSU, he already has an impressive list of accomplishments. He has received the National Band Association Certificate of Distinction four times while the band he directed received the Georgia Music Educators Exemplary Performance award thrice, being the first school to ever do so. He was also President of the American School Band Directors Association, and even taught the U.S. Army All-American Band.
Callaway’s favorite performance that he has directed was with the Heritage High School Wind Ensemble at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis, IN.
If Callaway had to give his students advice it would be “Be yourself. Be honest. Be kind. Remember you are teaching students first and foremost; everything else will evolve from that.”
In his spare time, Callaway enjoys reading and traveling, as well as trying out new restaurants.