Music and Technology Teacher
Director of Upper School Student Leadership

Mr. Ellis has taught music and technology classes for all ages and coached several sports in nearly two decades on our faculty. He also oversees Student Council and other aspects of student life and leadership.


What is the most important lesson you want students to learn in your class?

I believe the most important lesson for any student is how to learn independently.

Like all teachers, I love when a student has an “a-ha” moment, but in those times when they are struggling, I try to remind them that practicing instruments and working on music is a gift to your future self. I benefit now from all the time that a younger version of me invested into playing instruments.

How do you keep current with the subject areas you cover?

I write and perform original music and also play regularly in three cover bands as part of an entertainment company. Two of my favorite musicians are jazz pianists Brad Mehldau and Keith Jarrett — and of course, the Beatles are best. More recently, I’ve also enjoyed the Black Pumas.

What motivated you to become a teacher?

I studied electronic media and music editing at Saint Xavier University with the thought of becoming a jingle writer for commercials or TV shows. After graduating, I worked in a marketing department for a couple years, but I was turned off by the cutthroat approach that many in the field employ.

Leaving that industry behind, I was teaching music at World Folk Music, a local music store in Beverly that unfortunately has closed now, and began working as a substitute teacher at MPA while I considered a new career path. The school community was amazing and being able to be around music all day was just a logical fit.