Mrs Perkins by Greg Graffin

The lead singer of US punk band Bad Religion remembers a music teacher who taught him to sing rock and roll, and gave him the gift of confidence

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My school was in a working-class city called Milwaukee [in the state of Wisconsin in the US], although I lived in a pretty affluent northern suburb in which my mom settled. My school there was called Lake Bluff Elementary, which was a very liberal-minded institution. It had a big music department, if you want to call it that, headed up by a single person: Mrs Jane Perkins.

From the 3rd grade [Year 4], I was in the choir. We played two or three concerts a year, the costs of which were met by the local community.

Not only did Mrs Perkins head up the music department, she also directed plays. I ...

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