It's safe to say Bobby Bailey loves music. A senior at Heritage Baptist Academy (HBA), he has played the violin for six years and the viola for two. He played in the Singing Christmas Tree orchestra at Bellevue Baptist Church for four years and in the Mid-America Theological Seminary's performance of Handel's Messiah in 2015. During his high school career, Bobby has also won numerous Tennessee Association of Christian Schools strings and vocal awards.
Before he graduates, Bobby can add another musical accomplishment to his résumé: violin instructor. Last fall, Bobby began teaching violin to seventh-grader Zac Dye, whose mother Karen is the MOST representative for HBA.
"I wanted to try my hand at teaching, and I knew I could handle a beginner student," Bobby said. "The Dyes heard I was interested in teaching, and Zac's current teacher had an overloaded schedule, so it worked out for me to take him on."
In his second year of learning violin, Zac meets Bobby on campus once a week, during one of Bobby's study hall periods. This year, Zac played in his first competition for the American Association of Christian Schools, and he placed first in the region. During recent lessons, Bobby and Zac have been working on Ralph E. Hudson's "At the Cross." Zac will perform the hymn as his first solo performance on Mother's Day at Heritage Baptist Church.
"I've enjoyed teaching violin because it gives me a chance to see another violinist's progression," Bobby said. "Sometimes as a player, it's hard to see yourself getting better, but it's neat to see someone just starting and see their gains."
After graduation, Bobby plans to get an associate's degree in social work from Southwest Tennessee Community College before completing a bachelor's degree at the University of Memphis. A patient and encouraging teacher, Bobby seems to have the ideal temperament for helping others. He hopes to continue playing and teaching music, both of which he finds relaxing.
"I understand the social work field can get pretty stressful at times, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to put my string playing to good use in the future," he said.