Teaching to Your Passions: From Classroom to Retirement

Karen Buglass is no stranger to making her passions part of her career. With her first Master’s Degree in City Planning, she spent 17 years as a strategic planner at Boston Edison. It was during this time, that Karen played an integral part in starting and planning Take Your Daughter to Work Day. Teaching and inspiring young girls in business planted a seed in Karen that would soon blossom into her ambitious career change. She completed another Master’s Degree in Education from Lesley University in 2003, and then began her second career as a teacher.
By teaching at Green Acres School, Karen knew the value of a progressive education. With a strong interest in music, she also began to explore the mountain dulcimer in her free time. After a few years of lessons and workshops, Karen wanted to share her passion for the dulcimer with her students.
Karen realized she could integrate her passion for the mountain dulcimer with the Green Acres fourth grade curriculum. She procured ten cardboard dulcimers and taught her fourth graders songs and playing techniques. Learning the music also helped the students in math and taught them about the history of Appalachia, the home of Karen’s favorite instrument. She brought another instrument, the autoharp, into the third grade classrooms for a performance to accompany the colonial era curriculum.
But bringing her passion for music to her classroom is just the first step in Karen’s next adventure. She plans to start her own music lesson and performance business, Sweet Strings. She will continue her love of teaching and music well into retirement by offering lessons and performances on the dulcimer, autoharp and bowed psaltery. Targeting individual students young and old, homeschool groups and seniors, Karen will take her passions for music and teaching from the classroom right into an active retirement (whenever that may be!) with Sweet Strings.

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