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Brianna Rude

MUSE 100
My Musical Life History

When asked to reflect and retell exactly why I am here at Ball State University wanting to
learn how to teach music, I cannot help but smile back on my past and what has led me to this
exact moment. Though my “musical history” has not always been so happy and cheerful, I do
not regret one single memory or experience that has made me into who I am today, both as a
person and musician.
When I was in the sixth grade, I had an awful habit of not relaying any type of important
information from my school to my mother. Of course, my mom was not very pleased with me.
So when she learned of the upcoming band tryouts from another mother, she told defiant sixth
grade me that if she learned that I did not attend these tryouts and actually try, I would be in
some major trouble. I personally wanted nothing to do with band or music for that matter. I
thought it would take up way too much of my time that I was not willing to give up. However, I
went to these tryouts and was automatically led to the percussion portion where I was then
introduced to who would soon be my most influential instructor to date. At the time though, he
was so incredibly intimidating and basically scared me into becoming an above average
percussionist. Looking back on my experiences with my first and most impactful percussion
instructor, I can’t help but be grateful for his strict teaching methods and high expectations for
me. While I went through the motions of being a middle school percussionist, I was also taking
piano lessons from a wonderful lady one town over from mine. She was thought to be the best in
my area, making a living only giving private piano and flute lessons to forty-some students a
week from the comfort of her own home. Later on in high school, she became who I aspired to
one day be as an educator.
Private lessons continued with my first percussion instructor through middle school and
my freshman year in high school, where I developed a very sound foundation as a percussionist.
However, at the end of my freshman year, both my percussion instructor and band director at the
time left my high school to pursue other careers elsewhere. Their leaving brought about a new
percussion instructor and band director at the beginning of my sophomore year. While their
impact throughout my sophomore year was quite negative and not very helpful in my journey as
a young musician, I did learn what not to do as a music educator in various aspects.
After such a negative sophomore year where I didn’t feel like I moved forward in terms
of gaining skill as a musician, I made the huge decision to transfer high schools where a much
larger music program existed for my junior and senior year. There, I was presented with so
many more opportunities, including various ensembles to participate in, better structured
rehearsal hours, and an overall positive environment to hone in on my skills as both an individual
musician and as an ensemble member. Along with being in a now better musical environment, I
also gained another wonderful percussion instructor and band director, both from whom I learned
so much in two short years. Not only did I gain an immense amount of musical skill from both
directors, I also gained so many life lessons, all of which I am unbelievably grateful for. All in
all, I feel that I gained in all aspects of being a musician and better person with the help of my
most recent band director, percussion instructor, and piano teacher (the same sweet lady who I
started out with over seven years ago!).
While my musical upbringing has been a long and bumpy road, I would not change my
experiences for the world. Every music educator that has entered and left my life have all left
positive impacts in one way or another, each leaving me with extremely useful information to
help me as a future music educator as well.