One decision changes the life of SCSD2 teacher

One decision changes the life of SCSD2 teacher

After private lessons and playing in her school band for seven years, Jena Hudson put away her flute and stopped participating in musical groups.

“I originally thought that I wanted to be a nurse when I entered college,” Hudson said. “Instead, I decided to become a CNA and work in the hospital.”

Luckily, for hundreds of Scott County School District 2 elementary students, Hudson felt like something was missing, and this career she chose was not what she wanted for her life.

“I quickly realized that the medical field was not for me in any way, shape or form,” Hudson said. “After a year of taking classes towards this career, I realized a huge chunk of me was missing — and that was music.”

Hudson dropped her nursing classes after a year of coursework and switched her major to music education. She auditioned for the school of music at the University of Louisville and joined the marching band.

“As I look back on my decisions, I am so glad I took the right path,” Hudson said.

Looking back, Hudson began playing and performing music when she joined the Scottsburg Middle School band in sixth grade. She chose her instrument based on something her dad said.

“Well, to be honest, my dad said I had to pick an instrument that I could carry the case for,” Hudson said with a laugh. “I was very petite middle schooler, so many of the instruments were just too big for me!”

After she looked at the two of the smallest instruments available to her — the flute and the clarinet — Hudson made her choice.

“Once I had the opportunity to try them out, I instantly made a connection with the flute,” Hudson said. “It seemed as if I was a natural.”

However, it was not until she started taking private lessons from flutist Sue Righthouse that she became interested in music education.

“My private flute teacher, Sue Righthouse, aspired me to become a teacher. She always pushed me and challenged me to complete musical tasks that I thought were far beyond my reach,” Hudson said. “However, with her assurance and guidance, I was always able to succeed. She never judged and only encouraged. She led me down the path in choosing the career to become a music teacher.”

Now, after more than a decade after taking her first lesson from Righthouse, Hudson uses the passion and the nurturing nature she learned from her music teachers to inspire her students at the four elementary schools at SCSD2.

“I wanted to become a teacher to share the beauty of music and childhood play with children,” Hudson said. “In this day and age, many children do not get the experience of music to creatively express oneself through movement, song, dance, games and improvisation. I feel that these are major life experiences that every child should have, and to just be a kid.”

In her classroom, Hudson works with more than 1,000 students at Scottsburg, Lexington, Johnson, and Vienna-Finley elementary schools and uses music to help students express their feelings and emotions.

“In my classroom, I encourage students to self-express their feelings and emotions through musical and movement activities without judgment from others,” Hudson said.

In all, Hudson is glad she made the decision to switch from nursing and listen to her heart.

“I am so happy I chose the field of music education to encourage children to just have fun and be a kid,” Hudson said. “Through music, they are able to laugh, learn, and explore in their own world of childhood play.”

Hudson’s decision to follow her heart — and her dreams — by finding a profession in music education has impacted hundreds of children. At Scott County School District 2, Hudson’s story is our story. Your story matters. You matter.