I just got back from a week in Austin, seeing lots of friends and practically everyone has asked me how going back to school has been. Let me say right here and right now that it has been fantastic!! Not only have I spent the past year working with great people but I’ve learned so much already, both musically and personally.
When I started searching for a program to enter and someone to study with, the number one, most important thing I was looking for was a teacher who could recognize my strengths and push me to strengthen my weaknesses without pushing me so hard I’d crack. It’s been a long time since I was a student and I felt like I had quite a few shortcomings to overcome. Believe it or not, there were also quite a few self-confidence issues I had to overcome as well. In one year alone, I’ve successfully started major work on all of the above. Not only do I have a great a fantastic band staff to guide me with my podium skills, the other professors at SHSU are also wonderfully balanced between being able to push me in my weaknesses and recognizing my strengths. I couldn’t ask for more at this stage!
When I first said I wanted to get my masters, a friend asked me, “What for?”. She wasn’t being snide or cheeky. She wanted to know what were my goals and what would be the end goal of getting an advanced degree. At that point, I knew that I had more to learn and I was hungry for something but I’d never thought beyond that. I honestly didn’t know much about what getting my Masters would entail. After some thought, I decided I wanted to be a collegiate wind band conductor. After a year of graduate school, I think not only do I want to be a collegiate conductor but also I’d like to work at a university that has a strong music education program. I think that would be the ultimate way to give back to something that has given me so much through my life.
So, I have one more year until I’m done with my Masters degree. If the academic calendar lines up like it did this year, I’ll have it before my 40th birthday (one week of, but who’s counting) and then I’ll start work on my Doctorates in the Fall of 2013. I have about 8-10 schools I’ll be applying to this fall. Keep sending the good vibes – I can’t do any of this without the wonderful support of my friends and family!