Sean Eppler Places in Essay Competition

April 20, 2013

ALLIANCE, Ohio—University of Mount Union music education major Sean Eppler, a junior of Mentor, OH, recently took second place in the R. Keith Music Education Essay Competition.

Eppler chose empathy as the cohesive factor in describing the qualities of a good music educator. Exemplifying his passion for music, Eppler placed emphasis on putting students in a positive place as a method to helping students succeed.

“A great music educator will always work to set high expectation for his or her students while constantly remembering where students are in their own walks of life,” wrote Eppler. “A challenging academic approach, paired with an attitude of empathy and compassion, is what I hope to achieve in the classroom.”

Eppler says he has adopted the word empathy as the driving force behind his purpose as a music educator.

“One amazing aspect of the choral classroom is its incredible link to humanity through literature, history, music and something so personal as the human voice,” said Eppler. “I know wherever I end up, I am going to be happy as long as I get the chance to put music in students’ lives in the same way it was put in mine.”

The R. Keith Newton Music Education Essay Competition is awarded by the Ohio Federation of Music Clubs. Open to sophomores and juniors in college majoring in music education, three awards of $500, $300 and $100 are given to students with the best essays. Students must write 500 words or less on what constitutes a good music educator and why the applicant is seeking a profession in music education. In addition, applicants must submit a written recommendation from a music faculty member.

“It was truly an honor to accept this award, and I am grateful for the wonderful music educators in my life who have helped me find the passion described in my essay,” said Eppler. “My mother has been an incredible role model for me, as well as the entire music faculty at Mount Union, who have forced me to challenge my resolve to remain vigilant in my philosophy as a future educator.”

Previous winners of the R. Keith Newton Music Education Essay Competition include senior Kayleigh Eddy ’13 and Sarah Behal ’12.


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