(I ask myself this every day.)

It’s kind of a long story…

So I graduated from Mercyhurst College (now University) in 2005 with my Bachelor of Music in Music Education (Clarinet and Saxophone, y’all), but didn’t feel ready to teach. I felt like I needed more life experience, more experience out in the world.

So I decided to go get it.

I moved in with my favorite aunt in Salem, MA in late 2005 and started my M.S. Arts Administration at Boston University.

From there, things sort of spiraled. 

I managed to track my degree into the direction of marketing and audience development, while also getting a well rounded experience in the entire field of how to run non-profit arts organizations, including financial management, development, and emerging technology – which 14 years ago was a really big deal. (I remember being one of the few people my age or older in my program to not be afraid of Twitter in 2008, when the platform emerged as a major player in social media.)

I’ve worked in community organizations, LGBTQIA organizations, professional theater, music, education, and more. I’ve got skills in a multitude of job functions, from photography to presidency, from customer service to ticketing systems, from social media management to tech support, and I’m hungry for more.

The secret, I suppose, is admitting that, over 15 years ago, teaching scared me.

Currently, my favorite positions are at Moniteau, having done three years as the Musical Director and now on my seventh year as the Assistant Marching Band Director.

To be fair, the idea of having my own classroom still scares me. But I’m facing my fear because I know one thing: I love my students. I love watching their brains work, I love when they make connections in music and theater, I love when they can push themselves to make inferences and develop on their own. I love being able to lead them in the direction of answers.

The biggest thing for me was this realization:

I’m not training professional musicians.

I’m training young people to belong to an organization. To be part of a unit. To reach for a goal and ask for the tools they need to get there. To respect each other and the work that needs done. I’m teaching them to be responsible and to put in effort and see what that collective effort can achieve.

Where can we go together