Music teacher John Racina at Liberty Christian School in Argyle sees every child in kindergarten through 4th grade every week, and he hopes the children he teaches eventually make the study of music a part of their lives.
“I want my students to experience the joy that playing a musical instrument provides,” he said.
Racina teaches in the music lab, where Liberty students are provided a piano keyboard that is connected to a computer filled with music software. Each student is guided through the “Children’s Music Journey” and “Piano Suite.”
A native of New Jersey, Racina began his musical career as the lead singer of Johnny and The Criterions with the Sicilia Record label. His fellow vocalists included T. P. West, who went on to produce Jim Croce, and Tim Houser, founder and leader of the Manhattan Transfer. Racina also recorded for Patco Records, appearing at many record hops, club dates and radio/TV programs on the East Coast.
After being discharged from the Air Force in 1968, Racina moved on to study music at the University of North Texas and received his Bachelor of Music in Music Education.
He performed with the Two O’ Clock Lab Band and appeared as vocalist with the One O’ Clock Lab Band while leading his own band, which quickly became a very popular group. Over the years, band members have included many famous musicians, including the late Whitney Houston.
Racina said that he is grateful to those who made the music lab at Liberty a reality. In his lab, he said students have fun learning the fundamentals of music while moving through the material at their own rate of speed.
“Every so often, students hear me perform for them on my clarinet, saxophone, or flute. Students who take piano lessons are also encouraged to play for their classmates,” he said.