Associate Professor of Music
BA, Goshen College, 1991
M Mus, Westminster Choir College, 1993
WHAT’S EXCITING ABOUT YOUR JOB OR THIS FIELD?
I feel so fortunate to find myself in college teaching where I have piano and piano pedagogy as my center but can also branch out into other areas such as the Humanities and SST leadership. I learn to know wonderful students in both the private lesson setting and classroom setting. I am in a situation where I truly learn as much from my students as they do from me, and I find that to be invigorating.
WHAT HAS BEEN A STRUGGLE IN YOUR CAREER JOURNEY?
It was a struggle to decide whether or not to pursue a doctoral degree at a time when both professional life and family life feel very full and satisfying. I am now in the midst of a doctoral program and am relieved that most of the time the balance feels right. While doubts about where to focus one’s energies seem to continue throughout life, I have no doubt that my teaching abilities and musicianship are being strengthened by my current studies.
WHAT GREAT ADVICE HAVE YOU BEEN GIVEN?
A few years ago more than one person told me to stop apologizing, or to save apologies for truly important matters. This was very useful advice and I now try to stop myself when I feel the urge to apologize for something that I really should feel no compunction to be sorry about. It was a small piece of advice but gets to core of confidence in what we do and of authenticity about who we are.
WHAT ARE YOU REALLY PROUD OF? (IN A MENNONITE, HUMBLE SORT OF WAY, OF COURSE)
I’m proud of my ability to thrive in the midst of numerous responsibilities. I am energized by being busy and challenged but also aware of the incredible importance of rest, exercise, and attention to family and friends
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A YOUNG PERSON JUST STARTING OUT?
Learn life skills that will benefit you in a variety of settings. We can’t know the future but we do know the skills, habits and dispositions that prepare us to be successful in an always-changing world. A liberal arts setting like Goshen College is an ideal place to nurture this type of learning.
WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
I would have worked harder at the Spanish language when I was younger. I can be conversational and friendly in Spanish but I’d love to be able to communicate with my Spanish-speaking neighbors more fluently and on a deeper level. Sometimes I wish I had completed my doctorate when I was younger, but on the other hand I’m glad for the experiences I’m bringing to my current studies.