December 2017 Graduation: Meet Giauna Neville

img_5820Giauna Neville has loved music since the sixth grade when she started playing clarinet and saxophone. Since enrolling at the University of Indianapolis, she has found a way to expand her musical talents and chart a career path for herself.

This December, she will graduate from the University of Indianapolis with a bachelor’s degree in music education, with a primary focus on percussion and a secondary focus on piano. Neville  plans to attend graduate school next year for jazz studies, and credits the University for growing her diverse musical background into a budding career doing what she loves.

“UIndy prepared me well for this career path because I participated in jazz groups while I was on campus. I developed more of a passion for jazz and drumming, so I officially decided to take my studies even further.”

She credits specific faculty members with serving important roles in her growth as a musician and preparation for her career.

“My faculty advisor, Dr. Rebecca Sorley, and my private teacher, Paul Berns, changed my life and how I am as a musician,” she explained. “They pushed me at times when I wanted to give up and they are the reason I am where I am today! I thank them both from the bottom of my heart.”

More than 50 student organizations exist at the University. Giauna said the Black Student Association (BSA) and National Association for Music Education (NAfME) helped her become closer to her peers, teachers and other music educators in the state.

“BSA helped me keep up with current events and provided opportunities that were non-music related,” she said. “Being involved with NAfME was nice because I could talk to others who were going through the same process as me.”

She wants potential students to know that, regardless of your major, University faculty make you think outside the box.

“From the top-notch programs to the faculty in them, you will be challenged in all your classes,” she said.

“UIndy went above and beyond my expectations! I got to experience the full ‘college experience’ and so much more. It was a lot of hard work, but it was all worth it in the end!”

 

Read about other 2017 December graduates.

Learn about 2017 December graduation

December 2017 Graduation: Meet Kyleigh Randolph-Hernandez

Kyleigh Randolph HernandezKyleigh Randolph-Hernandez is a music education student at the University of Indianapolis who will graduate December 2017. Kyleigh has a choral focus and voice is her primary instrument, although she’s also taken piano lessons. We sat down with Kyleigh to learn about her experience on campus and how the University helped her prepare for the next steps in her career.

Q. What are your plans after graduation?

A. I’m currently searching for a job teaching music at local schools. I feel very prepared for whatever teaching job I am ultimately offered thanks to my preparation at UIndy. I was constantly in the public school classroom throughout my college years and because of that I feel confident in my teaching skills. I greatly appreciate my time at UIndy and everything my professors did to ensure I was prepared for the job field.

Q. What made you choose the University’s music program?

A. I chose UIndy’s music program because it was close to home, because it has some great professors and it is accredited while some other local universities are not.

Q. What would you want a potential student to know about the Department of Music?

A. I would like prospective students to know UIndy is a very welcoming environment. There are people from all over the world and who practice all kinds of religions. That’s one of the things I love most about UIndy! For potential music students, I would like them to know that a music degree, especially music education, is a lot of work because the professors really push you to be your absolute best. However, it is 100 percent worth it. I learned so much in my four years of classes and gained some very valuable experience in my field that I would not have gotten from other universities.

Q. What is a favorite memory from your time on campus?

A. My favorite memory was my senior recital. It felt great to be up on stage doing what I love.

Q. Has your college experience lived up to your expectations?

A. UIndy has far exceeded my expectations. The professors are so kind and they genuinely want you to succeed. They don’t mind getting you into gear or lending a listening ear if that’s what you need. After graduation, I plan on still being in contact with my professors and getting together for coffee.

Q. Who at UIndy – faculty, staff, students – have influenced or helped you along the way?

A. Dr. Mitzi Westra was my private voice professor. She became a great mentor for me and frequently opened her office to me when I was feeling stressed and just needed to talk. I learned a lot from her, including techniques I will be using with my future students. Dr. Brenda Clark is the chair of the music department and has a focus on music education. She kept me on track throughout my college years and encouraged me to not settle for “good enough.”

Q. Were you involved in any extracurricular activities ? If so, what were they and how did they enhance your experience?

A. I was involved in NAfME, (National Association for Music Education), the UIndy choirs, and the opera at UIndy. These groups allowed me to take on leadership roles as I was president and section leader in the choirs and I received many professional development opportunities from my involvement in NAfME.

 

Read about other 2017 December graduates.

Learn about 2017 December graduation

UIndy Music Education program kicks off 2017 with national honors

The University of Indianapolis chapter of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) recently was named the Outstanding Collegiate Chapter of the Year for Indiana. The honor is the fourth time the local chapter has received the award.

The NAfME award recognizes the University’s community outreach efforts to bring future music educators into classrooms, along with the program’s achievements throughout the year. University student-teachers impact up to 700 Indianapolis Public Schools students every year by assisting teachers in classrooms. The local chapter received the award at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne.

Michael Richardson at IMEA/NAfME conference

UIndy alum Michael Richardson (’10) presents a session at the Indiana Music Education Association/NAfME conference this month in Fort Wayne. (Photo courtesy Michael Richardson)

The recognition “validates everything that we as a faculty do and helps put UIndy on the map. It sets us apart from other universities,” said Brenda Clark, chair of the University of Indianapolis Music Education Department.

In addition to the chapter awards, juniors Charissa Catlin and Shaina Liv Lescano, both  instrumental music education majors, were two of five undergraduates from Indiana to receive the Outstanding Future Music Educator Award. With these awards, the University now boasts a total of 16 music education students who have been honored in the past decade.
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Music-ed students shine at state conference

Students from UIndy’s Music Education program found themselves in the spotlight at the recent Indiana Music Educators Association/National Association for Music Education Conference in Fort Wayne.

First, UIndy’s Collegiate Chapter of the National Association for Music Education was awarded the 2013 Outstanding Collegiate Chapter of the Year for the state of Indiana.

Also, senior choral music-ed major Katie Dunlap was one of just three collegiate members from the state to receive this year’s Outstanding Future Music Educator award. And Savannah Shively, currently secretary of UIndy’s NAfME chapter, was elected to a two-year term as collegiate representative with voting privileges on the IMEA Board of Directors.

UIndy’s Music Education program is directed by Dr. Brenda Clark.