Darren Williams Fast Facts
- Hometown: Parkland, WA
- Class Year: 2021
- Major: Music Education
- Scholarship Received: JFR Foundation Scholarship and Academic Achievements Music Scholarship
- Favorite Spot on Campus: The study rooms on the second floor of the Mortvedt Library are a great quiet space as a commuter student
- Free-time Favorites: Spending time with his old dog (a lab/chow mix) and taking it easy
What PLU Has Been for Me
I’ve wanted to be an orchestra teacher since the 8th grade, and one of my orchestra teachers is actually the reason I’m at PLU today.
I’ve always liked music, but I wasn’t thinking of it as a career path until I met Miss Harris in the 8th grade. She encouraged me to do what I love – and for me, music is that thing. There is literally nothing like it.
Having found such personal meaning in music, I feel like music is my responsibility. I feel compelled to pass it on to others, which is why I’m majoring in music education. We need music and art in our lives to make the world a better place.
Miss Harris and I kept in touch throughout high school, and when it came time for me to consider colleges, she recommended PLU, her alma mater. I applied, was accepted and received a music scholarship – and already I can see that being here is going to have a big impact on me.
The faculty have been an amazing part of my life at PLU so far. When you decide to become a teacher, learning is a whole different experience. You’re suddenly paying attention to how your teacher is teaching you, in addition to the content that is being taught. At PLU, all the music professors wholeheartedly do their best and are there for their students. They are committed, and it’s inspiring.
I’ve had amazing opportunities as a student. Last summer, the orchestra went to Spain and Portugal. I’m naturally an introvert, and I didn’t get close to a ton of people in my first year, but going on that trip reminded me that music – especially orchestral music – is team-based. Everyone has each other’s back. Getting to know my fellow orchestra members better on that trip reminded me that I am part of a community, and that we’re better when we’re working together.
The close-knit community I’m developing here is one of the things I already know will be important to me for the rest of my life. I love the chance to think big picture with other people in class discussions, and I’m grateful to know that I’ll always have classmates to bounce ideas off of once I’m a teacher. I’ll have that team even after orchestra and college.
I’m eager to start teaching music as soon as I graduate, and with my degree, I’ll be able to teach within grades K through 12. I originally wanted to teach junior high or high school, but the student teaching I’m doing right now has me reconsidering teaching younger kids too. Before I graduate, I’ll have a semester-long practicum, which will also help me refine what type of job I want to be doing in what context.
Whatever grades I end up teaching, I know I will remember everything that has been done to help me become a music education major, and I will do everything I can to give my students the same opportunities and support that I have been given.