I first heard about Mount Union through my high school choir teachers. Both Mr. Scott Eversdyke and Ms. Elizabeth Galloway-Purcell attended the University for their bachelor's degrees. When choosing Mount Union, I wanted to choose a place where I would feel at home and know I will receive a quality education. The first time I stepped foot on campus, I knew Mount was the right choice for me. The professors in the Department of Music, now the Department of Performing Arts, show nothing but absolute care for each and every one of their students and are always welcoming in their classrooms. The one-on-one attention and the amazing opportunities is something that I believe you can not find at any other campus. This is what makes Mount Union my home.
Ben conducting the 2022 Alliance Symphony Orchestra Halloween Concert
The relationships that grow between the professors and students is one of a kind. When I go to class, I feel as if the professors care deeply about the students and their success. I would highly encourage any student who is looking at colleges and universities to keep smaller colleges in mind. While larger colleges may be nice and provide a fulfilling education, smaller universities have the one-on-one relationship that you simply cannot find anywhere else.
Since I was in middle school, I have always known I have wanted to teach music. The one event that really solidified my choice would be during a seventh-grade choir rehearsal. My teacher at the time, Mr. Eversdyke, allowed me to warm-up the men's section of the choir during a sectional rehearsal. From that point forward, I have always enjoyed playing the piano for choirs and teaching students about the joy of music.
Being a music education major, I have had several opportunities to practice my craft. Most recently, I have conducted the premier of the piece "The Time of Fear" written by my colleague Joshua Clay during the Alliance Symphony Orchestra Halloween performance. I have also had the opportunity to conduct a piece during the Spring choir concert under the direction of Dr. Grant Cook. Concerning my major, I have had many opportunities to get into the classroom at local middle and high schools including Alliance Middle School, Louisville High and Middle School, Marlington Middle School, and GlenOak High School. Out of all of the experiences that I have had thus far, conducting both the Men's Ensemble and the Alliance Symphony Orchestra have been my favorite, although I am extremely grateful for all of my experiences.
My ultimate career goal as of now is to teach in a middle school/high school setting building up a music program. I believe Mount Union has prepared me for this experience.
It is simply difficult to name one or a few specific staff that have had a major impact on my experiences thus far, however I will say that the professors in the music department have impacted me in such a positive way. I am super grateful for their mentorship and their ability to help their students succeed in ways that I cannot express.
The biggest obstacle that I have had to overcome to get to this point would be balancing my social life with my academic life. As a music education major, you are constantly performing or rehearsing. As much as I enjoy it, I have found it rather difficult to balance these especially in the sophomore and junior years. One tip that I would encourage all student who are thinking about majoring in music education is to please become organized. Buy a planner and schedule your whole month in advance. There will be a lot of rehearsals and there will be a lot of time spent in the practice room. Having a planner that schedules your whole month in advance will help you tremendously.