About Me

My name is Jennifer (Brinkley) Kolze.  I'm also known as clarinet_jen on my PLN (Professional Learning Network) sites such as Twitter and Plurk, among others.

I am starting my 10th year of teaching.  I taught 4th-8th grade band for 4 years, traveling between 7 public, private, and parochial schools throughout the suburbs of Chicago.  It was a crazy job, an intense job, but I learned a lot...and put about 25,000 miles on my car a year.  I left after 4 years, and began my journey into the world of general and vocal music education.

I am starting my 6th year teaching 3rd-8th Grade General and Vocal Music for Gower District 62, a small school district in the western suburbs of Chicago.  I see my 3rd and 4th grade general music students once a week for 35 minutes for the entire school year.  I see my 5th-8th grade general music students every day for one quarter.  I also direct 4 choral ensembles (3rd, 4th, 5th-6th, & 7th-8th).  I also co-direct the Spring Musical.

I attended College of DuPage from 1997-1999, and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree.  I transferred to Eastern Illinois University in 1999, and graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Music with teacher certification, and an emphasis on instrumental music.  I began attending VanderCook College of Music in Chicago, IL in 2008, and completed my Master of Music Education Degree in 2011.

When I'm not in the classroom, either as a student or a teacher, I keep myself quite busy/entertained around the house.  I play clarinet in the Elmhurst College & Community Symphonic Band.  My husband and I moved into a house recently, and have been spending the summer trying to tackle the "Weed Garden" that is in our back yard.  We have four cats, who we treat just like they were our children.