What education have you taken?
I graduated from Winnipeg’s River East Collegiate in 2013. I began my time at Brandon University in the fall of 2013, after which I entered the concurrent Music Education Stream in the spring of 2014. I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Music and a Bachelor of Education with a teachable minor in history this June.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
During my time at BU, I have been very proud of the scholarships and awards I have received, most notably the President’s Jazz Festival Scholarship in 2013 and the Sarah Harriet Hall Memorial Academic Scholarship in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016. I am equally proud to have been placed on the Dean’s Honour List and inducted into the President’s Honour Society last spring. Another aspect of my education I am proud of is the emphasis I have been able to place on jazz music throughout my degree. I have accomplished this by taking courses including Introduction to Jazz Improvisation, Jazz Pedagogy, and Jazz History, as well as performing in the BU Big Bands for four years. This emphasis opened doors for me, one being the chance to become the private saxophone instructor of former BU President Dr. Gervan Fearon. I was also proud to sit on the Brandon University Student Music Educator’s Association council through the years 2015-2017 as first a Student Representative, and later the Vice President. And finally, some colleagues of mine and I have written a research article on the topic of diversity in music education of which I am very proud. We presented our findings at the Manitoba Education Research Network conference in the fall of 2016, and are currently in the process of revising our article in order to be published by an international journal.
Tell me about yourself.
I was born in Winnipeg during the winter of 1995. I was raised in a tight-knit and busy family consisting my parents and three brothers. The family has only grown since then, now consisting of two sisters (in-law) and both a niece and nephew. My family is very important to me, and I am so thankful for their support throughout my life. In my spare time I enjoy reading and listening to music. My main instrument is the tenor saxophone, on which I primarily play jazz music. I adore animals and enjoy taking care of my growing collection of houseplants.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
I have loved school since the day I started kindergarten. I have always strived in the structure and learning atmosphere it provides me. When asked what I wanted to be as a young child, a teacher was usually my answer. It became a serious interest when I began band class in Grade 7. I very quickly fell in love with both playing the saxophone and the sense of community only found in a music classroom. This continued until high school graduation, at which point I had realized that my love of the music classroom was accompanied by a love of working with people. I had also realized at this point that teaching music was something I might be quite good at, considering my passion for the subject, my communication skills and my knack for organization. This interest continued to grow, as I made the decision during my first year of university to enter the education stream. Along this path I was inspired by amazing teachers who include Anna Penno, Jeff Kula, and Greg Gatien.
What is your philosophy in life?
One cannot pour from an empty cup. If we do not place emphasis on taking care of ourselves, we will struggle to take care of others and give back. We must spend time in life doing what makes us happy with people that make us strong.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
After graduation, I hope to secure a teaching job back home in Winnipeg, where I look forward to spending more time with friends and family. I plan to continue working in the field of music education research, and may eventually seek to complete a Master’s degree of Music Education. I am greatly looking forward to meeting my future students and experiencing life as a music educator.
In the spirit of International Women’s Day we are writing to nominate a group of four women. Although the call for nominations asks for individual nominations, we believe that these women, working together, are greater in partnership than one could ever imagine.
Kelsey Demond, Emily Hodge, Jennifer Kennedy, and Abby Ziprick are students in the five year concurrent Bachelor of Music/Bachelor of Education program. Since 2013 they have established a culture of leadership – earmarked by effort and improvement – by providing leadership in Brandon University Student Music Educators Association (BUSMEA) and Brandon University Music Students (BUMS), service to school and community in outreach and Open House, artistry in performance, and excellence in scholarship. These are simply the beginning of their contributions to their university, community, and chosen profession – music education. Greg Gatien, Dean of the School of Music remarked, “They are incredible; these students raise one another to a new level.” They recognize and celebrate one another’s strengths and increase their own learning in the process. Their continuous willingness to contribute makes them truly outstanding recipients.
Wendy McCallum and Sheelagh Chadwick