Duncan Frater

Duncan Frater
Teacher, Junior and Middle School Choir
September, 2006
BMus, MMus, Cert Ed (University of Victoria)

The students always come first.

“Music is an amazing outlet and great for the soul,” says Duncan. “I learned very early that my love of music was deeper than that of my peers and I was heavily urged to pursue music, and teaching, by my music teacher.”

Duncan began his teaching career in Duncan, BC, teaching music to students in Kindergarten to Grade 7.

At SMUS, he teaches choir to 300 students in Grades 4 to 8. This age group allows him to work with students who are just learning to sing and those whose voices are changing. Since choir is a mandatory class, he also has to draw out some of the more reluctant voices.

“I believe in attaching emotion to learning,” he says. “I believe in an active classroom and I believe in adding humour to teaching.”

Duncan’s extracurricular contributions to the school also revolve around music. He assists with the Middle School musical or directs the Junior School opera. The productions are a lot of fun and Duncan enjoys surprising the audiences.

“Most people can't believe what kids can actually do,” he says. “The kids continually shock me as well.”

Outside of the classroom, Duncan has conducted a 90-piece orchestra and choir for nine years and was a conductor in the Victoria Children's Choir for two years. He has also worked with Pacific Opera Victoria, the Victoria Symphony and the Vancouver Symphony in small capacities.

Beyond music, his passions include the environment, fair trade goods, sustainability, equal rights, politics, and building communities, whether big or small.