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NECC Profile: Kevin Comtois

Submitted by on January 30, 2013 – 10:13 am
Methuen Resident to Share Passion for American Music

Kevin Comtois

Kevin Comtois

Home: Methuen, Mass.

Age: Still young enough to get away with it, but old enough to know better! (46)

Profession: NECC History Instructor

Hobbies: Playing acoustic instruments including guitar, banjo, and harmonica;
camping; vegetable gardening; and kite flying

Last book read: The Price of Politics by Bob Woodward

Latest accomplishment: Transformed half my driveway into a vegetable garden

Quote: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
John Lennon

Profile: Born in Lowell, I was raised in a two-family house by working class
parents. After attending public schools in Lowell and Tewksbury, I earned my bachelor’s degree in political science and history at Westfield State College and a master’s in American Civilization from UMass Boston.

In 2005 I received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to study jazz with an expert on the evolution of jazz in America. I have incorporated music into my classes since I began teaching in 1997. I use music to create a relaxed class atmosphere, to lighten the mood before a test, to make a point about a certain time in history or a certain controversial issue in America’s past, and to spark debate and discussion.

In my free time, I write science fiction short stories, music history essays, political blogs, and songs.

Why I do what I do: I love to teach because there is no better satisfaction than seeing people learn new things and connect events in the past with their lives in the present.