A Collegiate Advocate: Member Spotlight

A Collegiate Advocate

Member Spotlight: Lauren B. Lewis

By Joanne Sydney Lessner

This article originally appeared in the October 2017 Teaching Music.

Lauren B. Lewis, a music education and applied clarinet major at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, North Carolina, is one of this year’s recipients of NAfME’s Shannon Kelly Kane scholarships. Now a senior, Lewis joined her school’s NAfME Collegiate chapter as a sophomore and was elected its president last January. In addition to maintaining the chapter’s focus on service, advocacy, and fundraising, she has made professional development a priority, incorporating advice and training sessions into regular meetings in response to member feedback.

An undergraduate music student in North Carolina is involved in advocacy, professional development, and more.

Collegiate
Photo courtesy of Ashlee Wilcox Photography | Documentary Associates, LLC

“We had students talk about an international choir conductor who came to the university and how that experience gave them a new perspective on educational conducting and vocal techniques,” Lewis says. A retired school principal who works with nonprofit after-school programs visited and conducted a mock job interview. “That wound up being a really great time,” recalls Lewis. “She picked 10 people, and we each had to answer a question. Then she would tell the group how we could have improved our answers.” Adding a dance social fundraiser to the usual round of bake sales has made it possible to cover hotel fees for members attending the upcoming North Carolina Music Educators Association Professional Development Conference. “They have collegiate sessions, so we’re able to network and understand a little of what’s coming as a professional,” Lewis says.

Under Lewis’s guidance, the chapter has reached out to local music teachers and responded to their requests. “We were able to do several instrumental petting zoos, taking out different woodwind and brass instruments and a few strings, just to let the kids try to make sounds on them. Hopefully, this piques their interest and helps them in choosing an instrument as they go into middle school.” They also participated in a science and music day at an elementary school, using jump ropes to demonstrate the properties of frequency and pitch.

Collegiate Advocate
Photo courtesy of Jordan Harris

After experiencing the power of advocacy firsthand at NAfME’s Hill Day in June, Lewis and her fellow chapter members plan to approach local legislators with the hope of securing more funding for music and the arts. “We’re thinking about reaching out to our North Carolina general assembly and maybe even our national representatives. Hopefully, we’ll have more people tell their stories about why music education was so pivotal to their lives, which will help the cause in gaining more funds via the Every Student Succeeds Act.”

“Hopefully, we’ll have more people tell their stories about why music education was so pivotal to their lives, which will help the cause in gaining more funds via the Every Student Succeeds Act.”

As a Maynard Scholar at ECU, Lewis is committed to teaching in the North Carolina public school system for four years after graduation, and she looks forward to gaining valuable field experience before selecting a focus for graduate school. “One of the greatest decisions I made was coming to East Carolina University. I really love the scholarship group, and they do a lot of great things for us to become future educators.” Lewis shares her enthusiasm for her major when recruiting prospective freshman. “We tell them how fun music education and a music degree in general can be.”

Collegiate Advocate
Lauren B. Lewis Music Education and Applied Clarinet Major, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. Photo: Kristina Brantley

NAfME 2017 Awards to Collegiate Chapters and Members

  • Music Program: University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama
  • Service: Radford University, Radford, Virginia
  • Advocacy: University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri
  • Recruitment: Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington
  • Professional Development: New Jersey City University, Jersey City, New Jersey

2016–2017 NAfME Collegiate Professional Achievement Award recipients

  • Vanessa Bliley: Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington
  • Lauren B. Lewis: Eastern Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina
  • William Yates: University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama
  • Emily Brumbaugh: Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
  • Joshua Schmidt: University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wisconsin

Shannon Kelly Kane Scholarship Recipients

  • Vanessa Bliley: Central Washington University, Ellensburg, Washington
  • Lauren B. Lewis: Eastern Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina

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Elizabeth Baker, Social Media Coordinator and Copywriter. October 14, 2017. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)