School Band and Orchestra Magazine asked each music educator the same three questions, including their proudest teaching moments, how they hope to make a difference in students’ lives, and what the most important lesson they try to teach each of their students is. For more information about the magazine’s “50 Directors Who Make a Difference,” visit

Here is what OHS Band Director Mike Krofta had to say:

What is your proudest moment as an educator?

"For the last twenty six years I have had the wonderful opportunity to work in an outstanding community and school system that has a great tradition of supporting music and the arts. My proudest moments are when former students or family members tell me what a positive impact I have had on their children.

I try to instill a sense of pride, tradition and excellence in their lives through the joy and rigor of being a member of the Oconomowoc Band Program. I am so proud when they tell me that through these musical experiences, I have had a positive influence in their lives. To me, it doesn’t get any better than that!”

How do you hope to make a difference in your student's lives?

“I hope to make a difference in each of my student’s lives by instilling a love of music, a love of learning, an inquiring mind, as well as teaching students to be responsible, compassionate and hard-working young adults.

Our goal in the Oconomowoc Band Program is to work hard in order to achieve the highest musical standards, as well as treat others with mutual respect, teach responsibility and take pride in everything they do. It is my hope that teaching students to strive for excellence is its own reward and one that will help them throughout their life, no matter what occupation they pursue.”

What's the most important lesson that you try to teach your students?

The Oconomowoc Band Program not only teaches musical concepts, but also many life lessons. The most important lesson I want my students to learn is persistence - the strength and ability to keep going, to keep working hard and never give up. In band rehearsals we do have many moments of “let’s do this one more time” until we perfect a particular section in our music.

In life, by working hard, and being persistent I believe anything is possible. I want my students to (1) believe in themselves, (2) always give their best and (3) not settle for anything less. I hope that being a member of the Oconomowoc Band Program not only fosters musical development and artistic expression, but also teaches that there is no substitute for hard work and persistence.”

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