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Kasey Dallman applied to Carthage intending to double-major in elementary education and piano pedagogy. Then, a month before classes started her freshman year, something happened that changed her mind. A pianist since kindergarten, she injured her wrist and needed surgery.
“Up until that point in my life, I had always taken my musical talents for granted,” she said. “The surgery gave me perspective, and I changed my focus of study to music education.”
Now, the Music Department has become a second home for Kasey. “I never dreamed that I would be blessed enough to sit in classes studying what I love with people who are just as passionate about music as I am,” she said. “I have worked under great teachers and mentors, and I have improved so much over these last few years.”
It’s not just what the professors teach; it is much more than that for Kasey.
“The community of the Music Department is overwhelming. All the professors have our best interests at heart, and there is great camaraderie among the students. In other music departments, you hear stories about ugly competition between students, but Carthage isn’t like that. The department is definitely my second family. This year I had to start school late. My first class back, I walked in and my professor started clapping and said, ‘Welcome home, Kasey.’”
After Carthage, music will continue to play a large role in Kasey’s life. “After I graduate, I want to be as active as I can in the music community. My dream job is to teach both general music and beginning string orchestra,” she said. “There is something special to be said about teaching young children who are still excited about learning. I also want to be a violist in a professional symphony and an accompanist.”
To teach both general music and beginning string orchestra. “There is something special to be said about teaching young children who are still excited about learning. I also want to be a violist in a professional symphony and an accompanist.”
“All the professors I have had in the Music Department have been fantastic. However, Dr. Petering stands out. I had him for Music Theory for three of the four classes. Theory can be a very dry subject, but he made it fun. Prof. Jane Livingston is also fantastic. She supports all her students and is always encouraging me.”
“I have enjoyed all the Music Method classes I have taken. In particular String Techniques in Schools taught by Darlene Rivest was a great class. The environment was very relaxed, and I learned a lot. While I knew how to play strings, I didn’t know the pedagogy of teaching string instruments. After taking that class, I feel very comfortable to teach string instruments.”
“Aural Skills. It is the toughest one-credit class. Music majors have to take four of these classes. I was terrified going into the class because I had no experience with ear training or sight singing. It took a lot of outside work to train my brain to work that way, but now I can see how much it helps with my overall musicianship.”
Favorite moments at Carthage
“One of my favorite moments was during my sophomore viola recital. My No. 1 instrument had always been piano, but I had to stop studying it due to problems with the nerves in my arms. During my recital, though, I saw how much support I had in the Music Department and how much I loved performing on the viola.”
Biggest surprise so far?
“My biggest surprise has been how close I am to my professors. Music majors see the same group of professors for lessons, class and rehearsals so we get to know them in very different settings.”
Advice for other students considering your major
“Make sure that you want nothing more than to spend your whole day surrounded by music. Many people don’t realize that being a music major is one of the most demanding majors on campus. You have academic classes as well as performance and technique classes, and you have to be a master at both. Don’t get frustrated when your friends only have one or two classes a day and you are in the music building from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Work hard and it will pay off.”