Music and Middle School: Director Reem Abu Rahmeh


Middle School Director Ms. Abu Rahmeh has an extensive background in music, having played the piano in chamber and symphony orchestras and teaching as a substitute music teacher in Jordan.

Whether you cherish her as an advisor and mentor or have never heard of her name before, Reem Abu Rahmeh thrives as the director of Lakeside Middle School. However, she comes from a background in music, teaching, and school design. I sat in her cozy office as she explained that the roots of her career all started with her passion for the piano. 

Ms. Abu Rahmeh’s musical success began at a young age. Growing up playing piano and violin as well as participating in the school choir, she always recognized music as a prominent part of her life. Her career as a musician truly began in high school, when she began studying chamber music at a conservatory in Jordan. Taking lessons and learning in a community of other musicians, she saw all the different possibilities of how music could be expressed. Whether it was through playing a part in an orchestral symphony or chamber music, she developed a desire to continue pursuing a life of music. 

Her dedication for piano made a daily impact on Ms. Abu Rahmeh’s life. Diligently practicing for several years taught her to be committed and disciplined. Studying music, she said, she learned to “make meaning of chaos and nonsensical things” and kept digging deeper to find meaning past the notes that were being played. Exercising these skills in a group setting such as chamber music allowed her to expand these habits and refine them further, continually adjusting, fine-tuning, and listening to her playmates. 

Today, Ms. Abu Rahmeh adapts these skills to work with others in non-musical settings. She used a group project as an example: while collaborating may feel chaotic and confusing, awareness for those around you makes it easier to reach a beautiful outcome. These attributes were especially necessary when she worked with the administrative team at King’s Academy in Jordan.

Ms. Abu Rahmeh started her teaching career as a substitute music teacher at the Jordanian high school for a semester. One semester led to another, and although she didn’t expect herself to be so engaged in the school, three years later, she was asked to be a ninth grade coordinator. As part of the ninth grade administrative team, Ms. Abu Rahmeh was involved with the grade’s educational and social ins and outs. Through her work, she soon fell in love with school design. She felt a strong desire to dive deeper into the transitional aspect of the ninth grade, looking to enhance the process of transitioning from a middle school student to a high schooler. Through this experience, she explained that “ninth graders were very influential in [her] life.” Thus, a new chapter of her life emerged.

[Abu Rahmeh] felt a strong desire to dive deeper into the transitional aspect of the ninth grade, looking to enhance the process of transitioning from a middle school student to a high schooler.

Working with the administrative team, Ms. Abu Rahmeh became involved in the process of establishing a middle school for King’s. While visiting schools across multiple countries, she worked on building a school that implemented new teaching styles and ideas. 

After 13 years at King’s Academy, Ms. Abu Rahmeh decided to join the Lakeside community. For her, stepping away from a developing institution to join a school with a long and rich history has been a pleasant change. She is looking forward to continuing being involved with Lakeside and its constant growth. 

Wrapping up our conversation, Ms. Abu Rahmeh expressed her hopes for the coming years, including seeing more advocacy, choice, and student leadership. Her deep connection with piano, background in Jordan, and aspirations for our school help drive her to lead our community. Learning from her favorite piano pieces and memories of teaching and directing in Jordan, she continues to impart her wisdom on how to truly “make meaning of chaos and nonsensical things.”