Jayna Butler

Jayna Butler

What education have you taken?

I graduated from Dauphin Regional Comprehensive Secondary School in 2015. After auditioning for the School of Music on the clarinet, I began my degree in the fall of 2016. I am currently in my fourth year in the concurrent Bachelor of Music/ Bachelor of Music Education program with a focus on elementary and instrumental music.

What accomplishments are you proud of?

I have been proud to be a member of the Brandon University Student Music Educators Association (BUSMEA) for the past three years of my degree. During my time on council, I have held the positions of events coordinator and treasurer. BUSMEA is a student-led organization that organizes professional development opportunities for the music education community. Annually, the council puts on the Da Capo Conference, which is a daylong event that includes workshops and seminars to enrich the education of music education students and local music educators. From being a member of BUSMEA, I have gain valuable leadership skills, which I know, will serve me well in the future.

In 2017, 2018, and 2019, I was placed on the Dean’s Honour Roll. I received the RBC Students Leading Change Scholarship and the Countryfest Scholarship in Music Education in 2016 and in 2018. During my time at BU, I have also received the Dr. Raja R. Grandhi Scholarship in Rural Development and the Don Wright Scholarship in Music Education.

Throughout my degree, I am extremely proud of the “extra experiences” that I have taken on during my time at BU. I have taken methods courses in both instrumental and elementary music education, which has been above the requirements of my degree.  By taking these additional courses, I feel they will be able to diversify my teaching and will be better prepared to serve my future students. I am also very proud of my recital performance that took place this past February.  I prepared for in addition to my regular course work an amazing experience.

Give a brief bio about yourself/ your background/ your history.

I grew up in a small rural community of Gilbert Plains, Manitoba with my two supportive parents and younger brother. As a child, I was involved in numerous extra curricular activities including piano lessons, drama productions, community band, bowling, and volleyball.

Over the past few years, I have become very involved in advocating for and working with individuals with exceptional needs. I thoroughly enjoy the challenges and rewards that this work brings, and it has helped in the development of me as a teacher and as an individual. Working with these individuals and helping them and others see their full potential is a great passion of mine.

How did you become interested in your field of study?

At a very young age, I was sure that I was going to be a teacher. However, as I got older, I tried to avoid this profession. My mom is a teacher and I saw firsthand the extra hours of work that go into being an amazing teacher like she is. So, through middle school and early high school, I investigated other career options, but when it came down to it nothing made me as happy as when I was working with others, children and youth in particular. Whether through teaching piano lessons, volunteering at schools, or teaching clinics I felt that I was a natural teacher. When I decided to go into teaching, becoming a music educator seemed like a natural fit. I had always been involved and enjoyed music as a child, and when I began taking band in school I quickly became the stereotypical band kid, taking all the music options available to me from concert band, jazz band, music theatre, honour band, and attending the International Music Camp. Throughout my education, I am very thankful to have been inspired by so many amazing educators, including, Dr. Catherine Wood, Dr. Wendy McCallum, Dr. Sheelagh Chadwick, Dr. Shelia Scott, Dr. Joe Stouffer, Ryan Paziuk, and Taylor Schmidt.

What is your philosophy in life?

Kindness matters. Everyone is going through their own battles, so in a world where you can be anything, be kind.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

In the future I hope that I am able to share my passion for music by teaching music in elementary music classrooms and band classrooms in rural Manitoba. At times, I believe that students in rural schools do not get to experience that joy that music can bring.  I hope to be the teacher that can help my students become lifelong learners whether in music or not. I would also like to continue working with individuals with exceptional needs and perhaps obtain a master’s degree in special education with a music focus in future. In the meantime, however, I look forward to completing my degree and beginning my teaching career.

Nominator’s Comments:

Jayna Butler is an outstanding fourth-year Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education student.  Jayna, a clarinetist, is pursuing Instrumental Music Education and English but is also studying Elementary Music Education.  She is presently teaching Music for Young Children through the BU Conservatory.  Jayna has created diverse opportunities to work with students with exceptionalities, and she is passionate about making music accessible to every student.  Jayna serves as the Clinician Liaison for the School of Music and is the Treasurer of the Brandon University Student Music Educators’ Association.  This year Jayna was the guest speaker at a Childhood Cancer Fundraising Event – her online post, “I beat cancer.  What’s your superpower?” reveals a piece of her character – she is fueled by a positive attitude that drives her to do only her best work, to uphold the highest possible standard in her studies, and to contribute meaningfully to the various communities to which she belongs.