What are you currently doing for your career?
After graduating from RC, I started my own business, Expressions Music Academy. Expressions is a music institution for all ages that provides one-on-one mentorship through private lessons, and cultivates community through specialized music classes. We now have two locations (Novi and Troy, Michigan), and service more than 600 students each year. Our primary service is private lessons. We teach the following instruments to all ages and levels of experience: piano/keyboard, guitar, voice, violin, viola, cello, drumset/percussion, saxophone, flute, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and most recently, erhu (Chinese violin). My job involves overseeing our various programs, administrative and operational systems, facilities, marketing and communications, and hiring. I also continue to teach private lessons.
How did RC’s music program help you achieve what you have become?
My experience in RC’s music department was exactly what I needed to develop the leadership skills I now possess. The music classes themselves were incredibly beneficial and helped to skyrocket my abilities, knowledge and poise as a musician and teacher. Every crucial area was covered, and it was covered well. What’s more, though, is how the atmosphere, environment and small classes gave me the opportunity to really explore my natural leadership capabilities in this industry and otherwise. I don’t think I would have been able to develop those abilities in a different, less nurturing environment.
What advice would you give to students who are thinking about becoming music majors at RC?
It’s helpful to have a good idea whether or not you want to go into music education before you get too deep into your coursework. I knew I wanted to teach piano, so I thought going the official music education route would be helpful, but I didn’t realize all of the hoops I would have to jump through (which meant extra time and money I would have to spend to become certified). I ended up changing directions and going for a general music degree with a concentration in piano, and that was a better fit for me in the long run. I would also say this—if there is any way you can get into the a capella chorus, do it! I was not confident going into my audition, and I really didn’t know what I was doing, but I’m so happy I tried out. If I had to choose one thing, I would say chorus was the single best part of my entire experience at RC. It was also very beneficial for my music development as well.