Linda Miller retires after touching thousands of young lives
Linda Miller has had an impact on the musical lives of many children: 12,000 of them, by her best estimate.
A Cleveland Heights resident since 1978, Miller was hired as a music specialist at The Music Settlement (TMS) in 1986, and retired from her post in May 2014.
In addition to her work at TMS, Miller taught kindergarten in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District for about 25 years. "Pretty much all of my students have been under the age of six,” Miller said. “I have totally loved what I’m doing. It was a hard decision to retire because it’s fun, just a joy to work with these little kids. I’ve been very lucky to have that opportunity.”
Miller was feted at TMS in an event called the Early Childhood Ice Cream Social and Linda Miller Retirement Festival. “My friend Diana Johannessen [of Cleveland Heights], whose children attended The Music Settlement’s preschool, said she wanted to do something for me," said Miller. "I said that the people who value most what I do are the parents and the kids. That’s all I had to say; she took it and ran with it.
“It was a gorgeous night, the first perfect night of the season, sunny and bright with a band and a taco truck from Barrio. The children sang a song I wrote, but with a new verse that the teachers wrote. I was bedecked with a floral tiara. Sylvia Easley, who hired me 28 years ago, came; and a lot of my co-workers and students' families—current and former—came. It was great to see everybody."
So now that she's retired, is Miller finally finished with music? Not at all. “I’m looking forward to spending some time writing songs, music, and documenting music that I’ve written over the years," she said, "as well as doing some recording with my flute.”
Lynn B. Johnson
Lynn B. Johnson is director of marketing and communications at The Music Settlement.