Mr. McGorry

“It is much more important who is the music teacher in Kisvárda than who is the director of the opera house in Budapest…for a poor director fails once, but a poor teacher keeps on failing for 30 years, killing the love of music in 30 batches of children.”

– Zoltan Kodaly

Jazz Trio at Kips Bay PlazaAs a music educator, the above quote reminds me of the important responsibility I have towards my students.  It provides me with a standard to aspire to.  I would add to the quote that I aim to ignite in my students a love and appreciation of many styles of music from many cultures.

In 2004, I made a decision to leave an 8-year career as a financial planner and investment advisor to return to my roots in music.  My early college studies were in jazz saxophone and piano as a music performance major at Five Towns College in Long Island, New York.  I had kept a connection to music, but it often gave way to my business career.  This was not satisfying. I also noticed that the part of the financial planning career I enjoyed the most involved counseling people to meet their financial goals and making presentations to clients and other professionals.  It was becoming clear to me that being a teacher was of great interest to me.  Perhaps you could even say it was a “calling.”

I decided to combine my love of music and growing interest in teaching by applying to the NYC Teaching Fellows program.

NYCTFThis program fast-tracked me to becoming a teacher in 6-weeks.  This was not adequate training, but I was determined to become the best teacher I could.   Earlier in my educational career, I had completed a Masters degree in Liberal Studies at NYU.  Now, I was was placed, through the Fellows program, in Mercy College to complete my second masters degree, a Masters in Education, which I completed in 2006 (Proudly with a 4.0 GPA).  This program was not in music education, but rather, in general elementary education.  I needed more training in how to teach music.  So, I began to enroll in summer institutes to develop my skills as a music educator.NYU  Kodaly - Loo Loos

For 9 years I worked in the South Bronx, most recently at PS35x.  While I loved my students and colleagues there, I was presented with an opportunity to take over a position at a school much closer to where I live:  PS126/MAT in Manhattan.  This September, I began there as the Pre-K through 4th grade general music teacher and also the chorus teacher for grades 6, 7, and 8.  It’s an incredible place to work.   I have been welcomed by the staff and administration and look forward to being there for a long time.

photoI continue to perform weekly (and practice, daily) as a tenor and soprano saxophonist, mostly as a jazz musician.  I also sing baritone and bass with the Glass Menagerie Chorus, led by one of my Kodaly teacher’s Dr. Susan Glass.  To me, as a music educator, it’s important to keep a connection to performing music on the highest level possible.

The only thing more important than my teaching and performing is my amazing family: My talented and generous son Aiden, who plays cello, sings in the National Children’s Chorus, and loves being creative; My beautiful wife Lelet, who is supportive of all of my education and performing activities; and my brothers Billy, Scott, Matthew, and Todd as well as my parents Mark and Lana. (I have to also mention my awesome nephews David and James and my their mom, my longtime friend and sister-in-law Cristi).


  1. hey mr.mcg its your third grade student katelynn the greatest most talented student you ever had when are we going to carney hall

  2. mr.mcg who was that guy with you today when i went to pik up manny today???????????????

  3. That was Mr. Montes. He’s my new student teacher. He’s here for one week and then back again when you are in 4th grade.

  4. so mr.mcgorry he left today??????? he plays gutar very good

  5. is ms.obrien ever coming back to visit you know what that when i went to matthatan with my mom i saw ms.obrien

  6. Hey Mr. Mcgorry its is your old student Ashley from PS 35 X I hope we can meet someday again

  7. You made me love music so much, I would never forget the work, the love you cared for your students in 35 You are a very important teacher in my life. Soon enough imma surprise you coming to see youre performance Thank you alot for making me love music its a hobby …. I recommend any student to go to him

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