Instrumental in providing instruments


Lenihan Intermediate School Band Director Paul Sibbel shows students how to clean a trumpet during a recent class. Sibbel has worked tirelessly to make sure students have instruments so they can participate in band.

Lenihan band teacher promotes student participation

Lenihan Intermediate School Band Director Paul Sibbel doesn’t let anything get in the way if a student wants to participate in band.

The most important aspect – getting an instrument – is something he is passionate about. His work has helped grow the Lenihan band program from 120 students in 2010 to 272 students in fifth and sixth grade instrumental music today.

Lending Library
Sibbel has worked closely with Carrie Barr of the Marshalltown Youth Foundation instrument lending library, which provides instruments for student use. They have helped grow the instruments library from 30 to 181 instruments for Marshalltown School students.

“Mr. Sibbel believes that each student has value and deserves to be a part of the band program,” Barr said “Who knows the impact on students when they feel this commitment on behalf of their teacher? His energy and encouragement is definitely uplifting.”

Sibbel said the Marshalltown Youth Foundation is “invaluable” in providing musical opportunities for students, especially with many Marshalltown families living in poverty.

“Paul puts in the extra work to ensure as many kids as possible have the opportunity to try band,” said Terry Gray of the Marshalltown Youth Foundation.

Love of the job
Sibbel said days have their ups and downs and at times the job can be exhausting, but he continues to see the reward from his students.

“I love working with the kiddos in my classroom and feeding off of their energy and excitement,” he said.

He said his teaching helps students grow in much more than just musical skills.

“I discovered long ago that I enjoy teaching more than I enjoy music,” Sibbel said.  “What I mean by that is, helping my students learn, mature and become responsible participants of a team are the true goals of the class and what I am passionate about.”

To donate instruments to the foundation, call Carrie Barr at 641-750-2890 or drop them off at Lenihan Intermediate School at 212 W. Ingledue Street.