Music Ed Major Sees Sharing Music as Sharing Joy
By NAfME member Erin Hylen, Gordon College Department of Music Social Media Intern
As a teenager, Gordon College Music Education Major Rebecca Reed, class of 2018, originally had her eyes set on pursuing songwriting, a love introduced to her at a very young age by her father, a musician himself.
“We sort of formed a little band with some of my friends. My dad would help us with the lyrics and the overall chords and things like that,” Reed said of her first songwriting experience.
Unlike most childhood hobbies, Reed’s interest in songwriting did not completely vanish with time. The Vassalboro, Maine, native continued throughout high school, with the ultimate goal of writing songs that empower others, she said.
Both during and after high school, Reed had the opportunity to share her talent in singing and songwriting with different audiences.
“My mom worked with American Cancer Society, and through that I was asked to sing at Cancer Survivor Day in Augusta. Then I started singing at different cancer fundraising events,” Reed said.
Following the Cancer Survivor Day, Reed said, she performed original songs and some covers at the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk in Portland, Maine, for a few years. She also shared her songs with students at a few middle schools near her hometown.
Reed sang in a school choir, discovering after reluctantly starting that she liked it. She soon joined district and all-state choirs as well.
“Just being able to be a part of something greater than myself, in that moment, with the choirs, and I mean honestly just feel the Holy Spirit . . . and then just to see these conductors who get to steer and guide us, and evoke these emotions and expression from us that wouldn’t be able to happen otherwise if not for music — I just remember thinking, ‘Wow, I would just love to get to do this every day,’ ” Reed said.
Although she didn’t originally plan on attending Gordon, Reed said that after lots of prayer, she felt as though it was where God was calling her to go.
Reed said that the faculty and opportunities provided at Gordon have prepared her extremely well for her future field.
“From semester one, we’re in the classroom teaching,” Reed said of her experience with the Music Education Department.
In reference to faculty support, Reed added, “There’s always so much to learn and it just seems like a mountain of, ‘Oh my goodness, I will never surpass this,’ but it is possible thanks to our incredible faculty who do invest in you.”
Reed currently serves as president for both the Gordon and Massachusetts state chapters of the National Association for Music Education, or NAfME.
“If I can help people to view the world through a different lens with music, and just help them to seek that joy that you can find through music, that’s what matters.”
Reed cited her involvement in district choir events as a major influence in her decision to study music education.
She explained her approach to music education and what she hopes her future students will take away from their experiences with it.
“It’s not like I want to go in and teach because I want everyone to become a music teacher or because I want everyone to be involved in music essentially,” Reed said. “If I can help people to view the world through a different lens with music, and just help them to seek that joy that you can find through music, that’s what matters.”
About the author:
Erin Hylen is a Gordon College Communication Arts and French Major and Department of Music Social Media Intern.
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