Band room poster in the music building reads, “Join Jerry’s Kidz.” This poster has a list of classes taught by music instructor, Jerry Garvin.
Garvin started teaching classes at Fullerton College in 1990. The nickname Jerry’s Kidz has been around for a long time but the the “s” was changed to a “z” to avoid copyright infringement.
As a teacher and professional musician, Garvin hopes to associate music with positive experiences and spur his students to do better.
“You have to be able to demonstrate your craft by doing it well, as well as possible,” Garvin said. “I’m glad I have the opportunity to be a professional musician outside of what I do here.”
Besides teaching classes and advising the pep band, Garvin prepares his students for the professional world with “concert hour” on Friday mornings.
Some of Garvin’s students enter the music program not knowing what they want to do but Garvin encourages them to push themselves and gives them the motivation they need.
“He doesn’t have to do any of that stuff,” said Austin Morris, music student. “He just does it out of love.”
Being a part of Jerry’s Kidz has helped students grow by pushing them to exploring a variety of instruments.
“He’s also inspired us to go past our limits,” said Isaias Baquedano, music student. “Seeing him makes us reach for the stars.”
The music department is like a family because of its small size, providing the opportunity for students to get to know one another.
Students see Garvin as a source of motivation.
“[Garvin] brings enthusiasm and joy to his instruction and transfers that over,” Morris said.
“Jerry is one of the friendliest faculty you’ll probably meet on campus,” said Moises Cortes, music student. “He’s one of those people you meet once in a lifetime. You won’t ever forget that kind of hospitality.”
What he loves about teaching is helping people along and achieve their dreams.
“I think I found my life’s calling very early on,” Garvin said. “There’s never been any question in my mind as to what I want to do with my life. I love being part of that nurturing process.”