Greene, who said a publisher also is interested in his song, recalled his musings during that school safety meeting. He considered where he felt safe and how people long for places of safety and silence.
"I was trying to imagine what had taken place in those hallways," Greene said. "I just heard a lot of noise. Lockers slamming, People running. Shots being fired. All sorts of noise. It was truly heartbreaking to think about all that."
"On This Silent Night" is ultimately a song of reflection, Greene said. About why one is here. About the meaning of life. About peace.
"Peace isn't just a slogan or a movement," Greene said. "You really need to start with a person. You start with a place of reflection. And once I answered some of those deeper questions, it evolved into this song."
Growing up in northern Indiana, Greene took music lessons from Esther Davies in Joliet, "a renowned piano instructor who taught her students well," at his mother insistence.
In high school, Greene took trumpet lessons from Jerry Lewis, former chair of Joliet Junior College's fine arts department, and piano from Josette Behrend, who received her doctorate from the American Conservatory of Music.
"When my mom was in the eighth grade, she was the accompanist for the choirs at A.O.Marshall," Greene said. "When she went to Joliet East, she was the accompanist for the choirs all four years."
But it was reading how Ted Lega, former director of bands at Joliet Central High School, felt studying music helped one learn life lessons that persuaded Greene to become a teacher, too.
"I thought I could do that, teach life lessons," Greene said. "So I've been teaching six and a half years. I'm on my fifth year at Shorewood Elementary School."
(Pictured above is Greene's visit to Stagg High School. His mother is pictured, too, at the piano).