The Sound Of Music Starts With Willett

Ms. Karrie Willett

By Kimberly O.

Have you ever been by the Adventures in Art room and heard a loud, unpleasant cacophony emitted from Room 2 that then magically—after a brief pause—transforms into a beautiful melodious tune and wondered, “Who is capable of such a tedious task?”

That magical woman would be the well-known Ms. Karrie Willett.

Willett has had a wonderful life and has traveled all over the world. She has also taught in many places, too. But, lucky for us, Willett has stayed true to her birth state, California.

Willett was born and raised in Santa Barbara. She competed in gymnastics as a child and continued competing all the way through her second year at Santa Barbara City College.

At Santa Barbara City College, she received her Associate’s Arts degree. Then she went to California State Northridge where she received her teaching credential and her Bachelors degree in Music Education. In addition, Willett received her Masters of Education from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona.

While attending college, Willett taught at La Colina Middle School, Montecito Elementary School, and Simi Valley High School. She also gave private flute lessons.  Willett also taught at John Marshall Fundamental Secondary School. Altogether, Willett has been teaching for approximately twenty years.

During those twenty years, Willett taught Color Guard, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Band, Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Orchestra, Drumline and Marching Band. She was also a stage manager and a woodwind coach. However, probably one of her most exciting teaching experiences was conducting the Pasadena District Band. This band was composed of 215 members from ten different schools. It performed in the Rose Parade!

Thankfully, all of her wonderful experiences led her to RMS, where she has worked diligently for the past seven years.

Willett currently teaches Beginning and Advanced Band, Choir and Life Management. She also gives up her lunch time four days a week to coach Drumline, Jazz Band and Color Guard. What a dedicated teacher!

Here is what RMS students have to say about the fantastic Ms. Willett:

“She is energetic and helps us out with music,” said Seventh Grader Eric H.

Students appreciate Willett’s willingness to teach many different electives.

“She is a very good teacher in many different subjects,” said Taryn P.

Class size is always a challenge, but Willett handles it with grace.

“She is really nice and is really good at controlling large classes,” said Krista C.

Willett is loved both at RMS by staff and students and at home by her daughter, Marie, who is currently enrolled in kindergarten.

In her spare time, Willett likes to cook, sew and read. She also likes to entertain herself musically by playing one of the nineteen instruments that she is skilled enough to know. The nineteen instruments include:  Flute, Piccolo, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, French Horn, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Piano, Recorder and the Guitar. Can you imagine being able to play nineteen instruments? Most people can’t even play one. She is definitely this school’s beacon of music.

Perhaps Erin P. says it best…“[Willett’s] teaching is like music to my ears!”


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