News from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, Fla.

Teachers take on karaoke

April 4, 2017

Photo+courtesy+Michele+Whalen
Photo courtesy Michele Whalen

Photo courtesy Michele Whalen

Photo courtesy Michele Whalen

Biology teacher Mishell Thomas-King takes the chairs off the tables and puts them on the floor, and stands at the front of the room. She gathers herself to present to the group.

But the group she presents to is not her Biology 1 class. It’s the crowd of people that came to watch her at a local karaoke bar.

Not many people, including other teachers, know of Thomas-King’s hobby. Some teachers found out at the most recent staff Christmas party. At the party, Thomas-King and fellow biology teacher Alexis Cooke sang karaoke.

“Most people were surprised because I don’t really advertise that I sing to people,” Thomas-King said.

While everyone found out about Thomas-King’s hobby that night, it was not the first time she had ever done karaoke; she has been doing karaoke for quite a while, and singing for most of her life.

“I have been singing since I was really young,” Thomas-King said. “I am actually a trained singer which most people do not know.”

She isn’t the only musician in her family. Thomas-King is in a family of trained musicians, and so has been surrounded by music her whole life.

“My little brother is a drummer, and he plays for lots of different artists, he has gigs, he has rehearsal all the time, and he’s on CDs,” Thomas- King said. “My uncle also plays for this group- he’s their drummer and they travel all over the world.”

When Thomas-King was a child, her family figured that she would have the same musical goals for her future. They thought that she would grow up to be a music teacher, but she wanted what many would perceive as the total opposite. She originally wanted to become a doctor.

But Thomas-King still continues to pursue her passion. She has auditioned for The Voice twice, has sung live before, and is on a CD produced by Grammy-nominated music producer.

When Thomas-King does do karaoke, she usually does it alone, but sometimes will go with Cooke, her karaoke partner at the Christmas party.

Previously, Thomas-King would go and sing karaoke every Thursday at her favorite spot.

Now, with the responsibility of being a teacher, she doesn’t go as often.

However, when she does go to the karaoke spot, her current go-to songs are “Lay Me Down” by Sam Smith and “Proud Mary” by Tina Turner.

Although Thomas-King didn’t go on to become either a music teacher or a doctor, she has a reason for not having a music career and is happy with her choice.

“Music is more of a fun thing, I never wanted it to be a job,” Thomas-King said. “I feel like if I had to do it for a living it wouldn’t be fun anymore.”

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