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July 24, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: Music therapy combines passions

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Board certified in the discipline, Abigail Newman teaches music therapy at Drum & Strum.
I like being in a small town but being close to really big cities. You can go see a show somewhere. There are still Christmas parades here where my choir kids can sing.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
She has a talent for teaching children music.

Abigail Newman took her first piano and flute lessons as a fourth-grader.

Her musical instrument repertoire since has expanded to include the cello, auto harp, recorders and guitar. Ms. Newman also writes her own lyrics.

In August, she will begin her third year as music teacher at James G. Brumfield Elementary School in Warrenton and also works as a piano and music therapy instructor at Drum & Strum Music Center in Old Town.

As a music therapist, Ms. Newman works with children who have autism and other challenges to accomplish non-musical goals, such as better interaction and speech, through music.

“I love music and working with kids. It was always going to be music or medicine and I kind of combined the two,” she says.

Ms. Newman enjoys living in a small community and being able to walk down Warrenton’s Main Street, something she was not accustomed to growing up in a military family, always moving.

“People are really nice around here. There are still Christmas parades here where my choir kids can sing.”

• Age

• Home

• Work
Music teacher at Brumfield Elementary since 2012; she previously taught in Greene and Henrico counties. She also has taught piano and music therapy at Drum & Strum Music Center in Old Town Warrenton for seven months.

• Why do you do the job?
I’ve always wanted to do something with music. I started taking piano and flute in fourth grade. I love music and working with kids. It was always going to be music or medicine, and I kind of combined the two.

• Family
Mother, Donna; two brothers, James Pumphrey and Greg Pumphrey; grandmother, Jean Gambill.

• Education
Salem County Vocational Technical School in New Jersey, 1999. Bachelor of arts from Mars Hill University in North Carolina, 2003. Master’s in music therapy from Radford University, 2008. Board certified in music therapy for five years.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 2012.

• Why do you live here?
I like being in a small town but being close to really big cities. You can go see a show somewhere. There are still Christmas parades here where my choir kids can sing.

• How do you describe this county?
People are really nice around here. I have friendly neighbors, and people will help you out.

• What would you change about Fauquier?

• What do you do for fun?
Play music, write poetry and lyrics, and make jewelry.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
Being able to walk around Old Town Warrenton with all the brick sidewalks.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I think it will probably be more built up.

• Favorite TV show?
“Dr. Who”

• Favorite movie?
“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy

• Favorite book?
Barbara Hambly and J.R.R. Tolkien are my favorite authors.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere with water. A lake or ocean, it doesn’t matter.

• Favorite food?

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
If something is not working, find another way — from my mother.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My mother because she raised my twin brothers and me when we were moving around as a military family. Then my parents got divorced and she supported our family on a teacher’s salary and made sure I could go to my music lessons.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Pay off my student loans, invest some of it and take a trip to Europe.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.

• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.

• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.

• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”

• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.

• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.

• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.

• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.

• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.

• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.

• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people

• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.

• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.

• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.

• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.

• Pastor a constant in Calverton.

• She keeps the courthouse spotless.

• He loves working working outdoors at the park.

• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton

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