Teacher Spotlight: Ms. Lopuzzo always wanted to teach music

Ms. Lopuzzo

Lismary Pascal

Ms. Lopuzzo

Ms. Valerie Lopuzzo is a Music teacher here at Prep who has taught for over 36 years! She grew up in Passaic and now lives in Woodland Park. She graduated from Montclair State and earned a Bachelor’s degree in music education and got her teaching certificate to teach students k-12.

She has an only son who is currently 33 years old, she loves to travel and has visited many beautiful parts of the world!


The Boulevard Online: Did you always know you wanted to be a music teacher?  

Ms. Lopuzzo: I did, since I was in kindergarten. I remember walking into the band room and hearing my kindergarten teacher playing piano and it inspired me. Something in me just knew I wanted to learn how to do that and I wanted to hear it all the time.


TBO: How long have you been a music teacher? And how has been your experience teaching here at Prep? 

Ms. Lopuzzo: This is my 35th year teaching in the district. I absolutely love it. It re-energized me. I taught in the district for elementary for 33 years and was a little apprehensive when I found I was being transferred to high school, but now I absolutely love it here and working with the kids here at Prep. It’s much different than what I’m used to but I find it very enjoyable.


TBO: What are a few of your favorite things to do besides music?

Ms. Lopuzzo:  Music is all I really do and what I’ve always done to pass time, but on any other regular day I do enjoy spending time with my family and going out to eat with friends. 


TBO: Do you think teaching music has had a great impact on your students? 

Ms. Lopuzzo: I hope that I have made a positive impact. I hope I gave them enjoyment and helped some kids find their niche. Music is a very universal thing and many tend to skip past the culture and background behind certain genres, and with teaching I hope to reach them and allow them to grow more appreciation.


TBO:  If you only had one hour left on earth what would you do with the remaining time?  

Ms. Lopuzzo: I would want to spend that hour with my son. He’s the person on the earth that means the most to me. 


TBO: If you had a chance to time travel and go back in time would there be anything you’d do differently? 

Ms. Lopuzzo: I never finished my Masters. I would most definitely go back and finish my masters and take better care for my physical health. 


TBO: What age groups do you have the most comfort teaching? Why? 

Ms. Lopuzzo: I enjoy high school, I taught little ones for the longest time and I thought that’s what I was meant to do for the rest of my life and then I was put here and now it’s super fun! High school students do their own work and are more independent while the little ones need more monitoring which provides a bit more work. 


TBO: What is your favorite genre of music?

Ms. Lopuzzo: I really kind of  like everything, every genre has its own unique thing but it also depends on my mood.


TBO: What are some downsides of being a music teacher that many may not know?  

Ms. Lopuzzo: Many people think you can just put on a program at the drop of a hat and don’t understand everything that goes behind that. But thank goodness here at Prep we have a leader that understands, Ms. Bruce. Being a musician herself she knows what it takes to put on a good performance and how much work it takes which I totally appreciate! 


TBO: If you won a million dollars, what would you spend it on? 

Ms. Lopuzzo: I would definitely choose to go on a cruise! I love cruises, I have been to Bermuda, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas. I would also love to travel to Italy and make sure I gave my son and daughter-in-law some of the money to pay off their house.