Mr. John Madsen – Riverview Jr. High

Mar 13, 2008, 1:18 PM | Updated: Aug 4, 2022, 12:07 pm

Dear Teacher Feature Judges,

I want to nominate my son a 7th, 8th, 9thgrade choral teacher, Mr. Madsen, for Teacher Feature. Some of the reasons I believe Mr. Madsen should be chosen are:

He is such a great teacher and he loves his students, respects them, disciplines them with understanding, expects the best from them and fosters in the students a desire to do their best. He not only fills them with music but fills them with those life skills that will allow them to become all that they wan to be.

I have watched him direct kids over the years in countless concerts and other presentations. He always has a smile on his face as he begins a song that lets the students know he is “in their corner,” counting on them to do an awesome job. And they do!

The kids think so much of their “Madsen,” as they call him, seeking to perform at their highest potential, to make him proud of them.

Each year the choirs present at Fashion Place Mall (and they have also done so at the ZCMI Center Mall) and prior to the performance, John has gotten permission slips from parents allowing the kids to get lunch at the mall and spend some time “hanging around,” before the bus takes them back to school. Well, I have, of course, gone over to listen and then have lunch with John. He is barraged by students the whole time, who just want to talk to him and be with him. They really love and respect him.

I have never been to a single concert that parents didn’t come up to me and praise John for that entire he does for their sons and daughters. Kids in 6th grade are literally “waiting in line,” to be able to sign up for choir so they can have the famous Mr. Madsen.

John’s classes are full to the brim, year after year, and he always teaches over 300 kids each term. His choirs have sung at the Utah School Board convention, participated in many honor choir performances and recently sang at a Utah Jr. High select choir concert, one of only 3 schools in the state to do that.

John was chosen a couple of years ago to conduct an honor choir himself, of jr. high kids from all over the state. When the director of the event introduced John and told of his credits, the choir he was conducting broke out into a rousing applause. Remember, these were not his regular students; these were kids from different schools statewide, who had only been directed by him for two days. When I went out in the hall after that concert, no one there knew who I was and I could overhear students talking about how great Mr. Madsen was and how much they thought of him. It was fun being a “fly on the wall.”

I know that I am extra proud of him because I am his mother, but I challenge anyone, anywhere to find a better jr. high choir teacher than Mr. Madsen. He has been offered jobs teaching in high schools in other districts but always says no because he comments that he loves the jr. high age and can’t imagine teaching any other age group.

John graduated from BYU and while there, sang in the famous Mens’ Chorus, directed by Mack Wilberg, who is now the conductor of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They sang “Betheletemu,” a Nigerian Christmas folk song, which was heralded in many circles of music. It is a most difficult piece, with accompanying drums and other rhythm instruments, let alone being sung in Nigerian. When John got to Riverview, he decided he would incorporate that song into his choir’s repertoire. His BYU instructors told him it would be too difficult for jr. high. The high school choral teacher at Murray High echoed that same thought, but John was determined to try.

The first Christmas concert he had the choir sang that, they received a standing ovation. Year after year, he did the song again and again and it has become his signature piece. He now invites former students from any year in the past, who want to come on stage and get another chance to sing “Betheletemu,” to join in. The response is staggering! What a thrill to see so many kids come back just to get a chance to sing with Mr. Madsen again. That bespeaks to me that he has made impacts on so many over the years. He has former students who are now graduating from college and becoming music teachers themselves.

Patrons have written in the Murray Eagle newspaper and the Deseret Morning News about that “fantastic” choir teacher at Riverview Jr. High and what he accomplishes with his students.

As an educator, I am especially proud of John and the lives he has surrounded with music. The arts are a vital part of public education and Riverview Jr. High choir students are better, better-rounded people for having rubbed shoulders with Mr. John Madsen. I highly recommend John Madsen for your teacher feature.


Mrs. Sherry Madsen

Dear Teacher Feature Judges,

I want to nominate Riverview Junior High School choir teacher Mr. John Madsen, for Teacher Feature. Some of the reasons we believe Mr. Madsen should be chosen are:

Mr. Madsen is an amazingly talented musician that attended BYU on a music scholarship. It is so incredible that he is using his talents to inspire our youth. He is a wonderful example to his students professionally and personally. His passion for music shows everyday with his students.

Mr. Madsen is very good at working with large classes. He enjoys teaching and makes learning about music interesting and enjoyable for his students. While teaching the core materials he is also able to create a fun and exciting learning environment. My son says “Mr. Madsen make singing more fun than all of my other classes put together”. Mr. Madsen’s love for the students and music is apparent at all of the many concerts that he hosts through the years for parents, grandparents, families, public and their peers at Riverview Junior High School. He also schedules performances at local malls for the students; this is always very popular with the students. Riverview Junior High School’s Concert Choir has over 70 students in it. Everyone in this choir must audition. To have 10% of the students that attend Riverview Junior High School interested in participating in the Concert Choir is an amazing accomplishment that Mr. Madsen earns. Riverview Concert Choir also performs at Riverview’s Renaissance Fair. The extra hours that Mr. Madsen works each day to prepare his choirs for performances is an indication of his dedication to teaching. Many mornings before performances, to insure successful performances for his students Mr. Madsen has early rehearsals that begin one hour before school is scheduled to start.

Mr. Madsen allows some of his students to participate in Honor Choir, where he personally chaperons the students for a day and gives them the opportunity to sing with a choir of four hundred of the best junior high school students in the state. This experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students, and builds confidence in each participant.

Mr. Madsen is easy to get along with, respectful, encouraging and an outstanding educator and deserves the recognition of the KSL Newsradio and Zions Bank Teacher Feature.

Sincerely, Shela Barker

Dear Teacher Feature Judges,

I want to nominate our choir teacher, Mr. John Madsen, for Teacher Feature. Some of the reasons I believe Mr. Madsen should be chosen are:

John has influenced countless students for good through the years. He is often referred to as “my favorite teacher” by students. And each time the choir performs, parents stop to tell me how much they appreciate what he has done for their particular students.

Mr. Madsen is kind, energetic driven, smart, funny, patient, and respectful according to students. Students continually say that Mr. Madsen has prepared them to take responsibility for their actions; to be respectful; to be honest; to be kind; and to sit up straight. Singing is what he formally teaches, but life skills are what he models and drives home to kids.

Mr. Madsen takes time to make all his students feel important and talented. One student told me, “I like this teacher because he never gave up on me.” Another said, “He has helped prepare me to share my love of teaching and my love of music.” And yet another, “Mr. Madsen helps kids realize how important music can be in their lives and how music can impact their lives. Mr. Madsen makes learning music fun and easy to understand.”

Mr. Madsen’s class sizes are often as large as 85 kids. How wonderful that so many student shave the opportunity to be in his class and to learn from him. We are fortunate at Riverview Jr. High to have such an outstanding teacher on our faculty.


Shauna Ballou

Dear Teacher Feature Judges,

I want to nominate our choir teacher, Mr. John Madsen, for Teacher Feature. Some of the reasons I believe Mr. Madsen should be chosen are:

Mr. Madsen not only produces quality choirs, he creates within students a love for music and a desire to develop all of their talents.

Mr. Madsen approaches his classes with a sense of humor and a cheerful, positive attitude. He allows students to help choose the songs they learn, giving them a sense of responsibility and ownership. Mr. Madsen encourages opportunities for students to sing a variety of parts so they can develop the full range of their voices. He also provides instruction in concert etiquette and courtesy to both choir members and audiences, making performances more enjoyable for all.

Mr. Madsen supports students in developing talents both in and out of the music field by offering opportunities on a weekly basis for students to share their strengths with each other. Through participation in Mr. Madsen’s choir classes, my youngest daughter has rekindled her interest in playing the piano and actively seeks out new pieces to learn and share. She has also been excited about opportunities to share other talents with her class.

Mr. Madsen is a great asset to both students and community members at Riverview Junior High. He is an excellent candidate for the KSL Newsradio & Zion’s Bank Teacher Feature.

Sincerely, Ruthann Gibbs

Today’s Top Stories

Teacher Feature

Emily Ashmead

Teacher Feature is back in session

After what felt like an extended summer vacation, KSL's Teacher Feature program is back in session. This year's Teacher Feature primary sponsor is Burt Brothers Tire & Service. The company has been involved with Teacher Feature for more than ten years, and says they are appreciative of a way to give back. 
2 years ago
Emily Ashmead

Mark Landeen, South Jordan Middle School

The following was submitted by JR Landeen. “I know it may seem weird that I am nominating my own father but I truly believe he is deserving of this award. I was never his student in the classroom or even attended his school but I know what kind of teacher he is. I remember growing […]
3 years ago
Emily Ashmead

Janie Lauritzen, Welby Elementary

The following was submitted by Jon P. Lauritzen. “Janie Lauritzen has taught kindergarten at South Jordan’s Welby Elementary for 19 years. She’s that special teacher that has parents jockeying with the school administration to make sure their children get into her classes. Over the years, she has taught children with learning disabilities, behavioral disorders, and […]
3 years ago
Emily Ashmead

Jen Lightfoot, Viewmont Elementary

The following was submitted by Emily Chandler. “This year my child was diagnosed with Rheumatic fever in early September. Rheumatic fever is a rare disorder and a noncontagious acute fever marked by inflammation and pain in the joints. It chiefly affects young people and is caused by a streptococcal infection. Rheumatic fever will go after […]
3 years ago
Emily Ashmead

Shanalee Sadler, Alta High School

The following was submitted by Shana Davis. Shanalee Sadler is a special education teacher at Alta High School. She has been my son’s teacher for the past 3 and a half years. My son has autism and is a senior at Alta High School. Mrs. Sadler has gone to great lengths to teach my son […]
3 years ago
Emily Ashmead

Alice Erickson, Willow Canyon Elementary

The following was submitted by Amourette Bradley. “Have you ever had a teacher that stood above the rest? What if thirty years later, your child shared that same teacher? And what if he or she proved not only as extraordinary as you remembered, but even more so? Alice Erickson is that most extraordinary teacher. Many […]
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles

Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
large group of friends tohether in a park having fun...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

What differentiates BYU’s MBA program from other MBA programs

Commitment to service is at the heart of BYU’s MBA program, which makes it stand out among other MBA programs across the country.
a worker with a drill in an orange helmet installs a door in the house...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

Home improvement tip: Increase the value of your home by weatherproofing doors

Make sure your home is comfortable before the winter! Seasonal maintenance keeps your home up to date. Read our tips on weatherproofing doors.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
A paper reading IRS, internal revenue service is pictured...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Mr. John Madsen – Riverview Jr. High