Hi friends! I heard you were looking into coming to Champaign, Illinois to become a music major at the University of Illinois. Well, you’ve come to the right place.
My name is Miranda, some people call me M.R. and I’ll be your tour guide for the duration of this blog. Before I get into how I have found a home in the music program, I wanted to share a little about myself.
I am a second-year PhD student in the Music Education program here. Before coming back to the Champaign area, I earned my B.M. in Music Education and my M.A. in Teaching from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey. While working towards those two degrees simultaneously, I was also involved in leading a choral ensemble with youth voices at a local men’s maximum-security prison in New Jersey. Maybe I can share my master’s work with you sometime...it’s about my 3 years in prison…using music as a vehicle to foster community building and self-expression among inmates. Let’s fast forward a little now.
After graduating from Westminster, I came back to CU. I grew up in a town about 30 minutes north of here, so I call CU my home. I taught for a time at Parkland College, the junior college here in town, and I also taught grades 6-12 in that town mentioned above. Teaching music has always been a passion of mine, especially when working with grades 6-8, but after having a kiddo and realizing how much more fun I had when helping students prepare their first lesson plans for a short teaching activity, I knew I needed to look into the Music Education program at UIUC.
I began my search while being a community member of the UI Oratorio Society by invitation of Dr. Andrew Megill (who I met at Westminster. We’ll get to know him in later posts). I sang near someone who had an important role in offering PhD opportunities to folks in the Music Education department, Dr. Janet Barrett (we can meet her, too, if you’d like). I asked her to chat with me about the program so we met at Espresso Royale, next to the music building, across the street from Krannert, and she gave me the information I needed to make the decision to apply to be a PhD student!
So now, here we are. I’ll take you through my first year in our next post, but for now, I’ll sign off and let you know that I would be super excited if you came to UIUC!
...this is where you say, I-N-I!