Pat Surface, a graduate of Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelors and Masters of Music Education, is a music specialist K-12 with a certification in elementary classroom. For 35 years she has enjoyed teaching classroom music, band, choir, and several elementary grade levels in Texas and New Mexico. Pat also presents at educators’ workshops and professional development at the local and state levels, and mentors student teachers from The University of Houston and Sam Houston State University.
Mrs. Surface’s musical associations include opportunities outside of school as well. For several years she has had a private flute studio and directed and performed in church and hand bell choirs. Pat is proud of her family. Bill Surface, who currently works for Express Industries, was a band director in West Texas and New Mexico for over 20 years and is currently the President-Elect for the Bay Area Chorus. Jami Lupold, her daughter, has been team teaching with her for 10 years at Pearl Hall Elementary School in the Pasadena Independent School District. Her son, Dean Surface, is a band director in Keller, Texas, and her daughter-in-law was an elementary music teacher until she chose to stay home with daughters, Kennedy and Mckinley.
Guiding students to discover their talents and helping them create a life-long passion for music has always been at the forefront of Pat’s approach to teaching. Pat has found that the use of the kinesiology activities of Brain Gym® facilitate students’ whole-brain learning. She was honored to receive an international Brain Gym Award from the Edu-Kinesiology Foundation for integrating whole-brain exercises in her music classroom curriculum and introducing the exercises to her school district. The benefits of Brain Gym® increase students academic performance as well as prepare them for “Building Cultural Bridges” events. Pat coordinates schedules throughout the school to ensure that students have their journalistic skills honed to interview high profile international guests in front of live audiences, while successfully documenting all events with digital recording studios.
Pat feels very strongly about the importance of having quality music education in Texas public schools and providing real-life learning opportunities for her students. The program “Building Cultural Bridges”, co-founded and co-directed with daughter Jami Lupold, was developed with those philosophies in mind. They decided to use the International Space Station as the focal point for the “BCB” program to help the students of Pearl Hall connect musically with their local, state, and global communities. Through partnerships with the Houston Symphony, NASA, Canadian and other International Space Agencies, and several other prominent organizations in the Houston area, guests from those groups volunteered to participate in the “BCB” program. The musicians, astronauts, and scientists met with students to share about music, literature, and culture of their countries, focusing on their life-long passion for music. After first-hand encounters with more than thirty guests from around the world students began to understand that people are more alike than different and music truly is the universal language.