We came in together. Nervous from day one about what the next two years had in store for us. Yearning to make the world of music education a more inclusive space - to bring to the forefront issues that are both important to us and important steps for music teacher education, or music education at large. The four of us, the quartet as we were lovingly called, have come such a long way since that first meeting at the Intermezzo Cafe.
Whether we were speaking passionately about creativity in strings education, reflecting on the challenges of overcoming our own limitations when working with English language learners in the music classroom, or using our personal stories to help to fill the gaps in research surrounding race and gender identity in music - we were always supportive of one another.
Going through coursework was a challenge at this level and we were all pushed to think in ways that we had maybe not anticipated, but we did it together...and when you realize that you had your last meeting as a quartet, emotions overflow.
We had all spent so much time preparing for presentations that we had forgotten what these last few class meetings meant for our time together. So, for this post instead of being all nostalgic, I want to remind those of you who are in graduate programs - don’t lose touch with the group that you came in with. Build a relationship with that small group of folks and lean on each other when the program starts to kick your behind. Text each other, work together as often as your schedules will allow, and above all else, praise each other after such hard work! These people may have met as strangers, consumed by their insecurities that this program will be too much for them to handle, but in battling the imposter syndrome together, you became family.
Miranda (M.R.) Rowland
2nd year PhD student, music education
In this image from left to right, Erich Weiger, Dr. Janet Revell Barrett, *Mindy Park, *Abby Means, *James Dekle, and *Me! (* denotes the quartet)