The Extraordinary Influence of Michael Rice

In November the Fine Arts Center lost beloved retired voice teacher Michael Rice. Dr. Fluhrer, Director of the Fine Arts Center, co-wrote an editorial to the Greenville News with Bingham Vick Jr. The Greenville News recently published the following response by Frank Garlock, which we would like to share with all of you.

Michael Rice
I want to compliment The Greenville News for printing the recent column on Michael Rice. Although I never knew him personally, as a music teacher myself for almost 60 years I wish I could have known this Greenville native because of the influence he had in his chosen profession.
The comments by outstanding musicians in the column reveal the things that made him so successful.
1. “He not only taught music. He taught life lessons.”
2. “Mike was one of those special teachers who didn’t just teach his subject; he taught you to love learning itself ... His expectations for you made you want to achieve, not just in his subject, but in all subjects. His genuine pleasure in your accomplishments made you feel joy ... Michael started teaching me when I was sixteen. He never really stopped.”
3. “He was my teacher, my mentor and my friend. (He was) there for every important event in my career either by helping me prepare or being in the audience.”
4. “His extraordinary life, friendship and masterful teaching, his all encompassing knowledge and skills set Michael apart... His devotion to his family and friends place him above and beyond the expected.”
I believe that any teacher who wants to be effective, in whatever field he has chosen to teach, would do well to emulate the philosophy and life of Michael Rice.

Frank Garlock


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