The Buzzer

The Student News Site of Hastings High School

The Buzzer

The Buzzer

Tell us your thoughts!

What types of articles would you like to see next publication?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Mr. Rubino Returns to Hastings Schools

Mr. Rubino Returns to Hastings Schools

To the dismay of many Hastings students, beloved music teacher Mr. Mike Rubino announced his retirement late last school year. However, he decided that he wasn’t going to completely leave the Hastings school district just yet.

Mr. Rubino initially decided to retire because “the profession was changing a little bit after COVID” and he felt that “it [was] time for some younger teachers to come up and do their thing.” He also mentioned that retirement would allow him to “take advantage of some freedom and enjoy life.” Although he plans to fully retire soon, Mr. Rubino still teaches Hillside band, fifth grade band, and sixth grade band. The decisions to retire and to continue teaching some classes “were made kind of at the same time.” Mr. Rubino decided to take the opportunity to “come in, in a lesser role” to his job at Hastings to help him ease into retirement, as he said that this process was easier on the mind and body. He said that “working full time would have been tough, and not working at all would have been tough” and that this is a good way to find the balance. Mr. Rubino plans to perform “as much as possible” out of school now that he has a shortened work day at Hastings. With a more relaxed schedule, he can do daytime rehearsals and travel farther to play with more of his musician friends. 

Mr. Rubino went to the Berklee College of Music from 1979 to 1983 and graduated hoping to perform music; although he ended up doing this and enjoying it, he realized he could either perform full time or take up a role as a music teacher. He “felt comfortable with kids” and believed becoming a teacher was an opportunity with great potential for him; this is when he decided he would teach during the day and play music at night. Mr. Rubino said that “there were a lot of opportunities back then” and that “the money was good for … just a freelance musician.” He said, “it’s not for everybody, but I felt like I had an affinity towards teaching so I felt like I was going to be able to survive it.” 

Mr. Rubino’s favorite thing about teaching at Hastings is the kids. He likes “being around people all the time” and said that “it’s just so much fun being able to get together with kids and make music.” Seeing the “giant steps” of progress young students make as beginners is Mr. Rubino’s favorite thing about teaching younger students how to play an instrument for the first time. Hearing “the difference from the first day to the first month to the first year” and being able to hear “the minute differences in the way they’re playing,” along with being a part of the students being inspired by music, is what makes this job so fulfilling for him. 

Mr. Rubino loves “so many different kinds of music,” but his favorite style is jazz. Although well versed in a variety of instruments, alto saxophone is his favorite to play because he feels most comfortable on it (although he says “just the woodwinds in general are great”). Recently, he’s been playing more guitar and has found learning it to be an enjoyable hobby. Outside of teaching and playing music, Mr. Rubino loves to run — he mentioned that “right after I talk to you, I’m gonna go for a run tonight.” He got into running when he moved to the city and has since completed 10 marathons. He also enjoys playing softball. Additionally, he mentioned that he really enjoys fulfilling his role as a parent and as a husband.

Mr. Rubino is “feeling so much gratitude” for the Hastings community and the time he has spent here. He said that “it’s different than a lot of other communities, especially when it comes to the arts.” He also said that there are “so many kids that are so incredibly creative and talented and just nice, and they have come from really nice families.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Buzzer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *