Read what some of our PLU Trumpet alums have to say about our program:
“Professor Lyman was able to individualize his instruction to meet my specific needs. I never once felt like any of my time was generic hoops to jump through. I learned how to be a better band director from being his student. I had access to my teacher at times outside of my scheduled lessons. He even came and found me in a practice room to provide additional advice after a conversation we had. This would have never happened at any of the larger schools – even the ‘best’ schools in the nation, I’m convinced. Outside of trumpet, the music faculty working in concert created a complete experience. There were professors whose classes I was never in, but I was able approach them and ask advice on playing, being a musician, about my intended career and just life in general. Again, something you wouldn’t find at many other institutions no matter the size. I would not have survived my first years of teaching in this current assignment had it not been for the complete music education experience I received at PLU. If the program had been any less, I’m not sure I’d still be teaching. After I graduated, I have kept in touch with my private instructor and my band director. They both have served as sources of information and advice. I transformed from being their student to their colleague in the profession and, looking back, I feel that this was their goal the whole time.” — Joe Boertmann, Music Education, Class of 2009. Currently Director of Bands at Snohomish High School
“The PLU faculty members come from varied backgrounds, most having taught at many levels and out of their content areas at some point in their careers. This gives them a special appreciation for the developing music educator. In my lessons, my teachers were able to draw from their varied teaching and performing experience to help me understand more deeply the teaching and performing process. The PLU music faculty, more so than other schools, collaborate and communicate with each other. They care about student success in all music classes, not just their own. Most schools give you the technical skills and content knowledge to have a career in the world. PLU gave me the opportunities and experiences to make sure my career impacts the world. My GUR classes taught me to think deeply about the world around me and to question the injustices I see. My lessons and ensembles taught me the amazing impact music has on the world and why making music is an experience everyone deserves. My experience at PLU taught me to care. It taught me to care for the successes of everyone around me. It taught me care for places in the world I may never see. I t taught me to look outward in a society that is so profoundly inward facing. More than the technical skills and content knowledge I teach my students, I teach them what being a musician truly means. On any given day, 235 young minds walk through my door and my hope is they learn from the lessons I learned at PLU. My private lessons, ensembles and tours, and relationships I developed at PLU gave me a sincere sense of gratitude to be able to teach music. My hope is to create a classroom that has so many of the good qualities that are deeply rooted in PLU.” — Micah Haven, Music Education, Class of 2009. Currently Director of Bands at Meeker Middle School.
“There is… a striving for excellence that never lets up. We could have given the best performance of our lives but the next day we were working to raise the bar for the next performance. It’s not only in performances either. Each and every rehearsal in Wind Ensemble we worked and played to the best of our ability. Some of the best moments I experienced were in rehearsal. The same goes for trumpet rehearsals. This has a lot to do with the excellent leadership from Dr. Powell and Dr. Lyman. They set the tone for us in rehearsals and inspired us to be great. In trumpet lessons, Dr. Lyman was great at giving me material that was doable but challenging at the same time. It’s a plus to learn an instrument from someone who is exceptional at their instrument, both musically and technically. If I had to do it all over, I would never consider another program to be a part of. PLU did an outstanding job preparing me for what I do. Although I don’t need a business degree for what I do, I learned many skills that I use everyday. The business knowledge helped me start and maintain multiple businesses. I have used tons of the marketing skills for music advertising and promotion. I also learned how to meet deadlines and work well with teams. The music program not only helped me further my music theory and skill on my instrument, but also gave me a great attention to detail which I use everyday editing and recording music.” — Matt Terjeson, Business Marketing, Class of 2009. Currently a full-time recording engineer and rock guitarist.
“What I love most about PLU music is that there are so many opportunities, even if you do not major in music. Music is truly a passion and even if you don’t want to devote your entire life and future career in music, you can still perform and be a part of top-notch groups and take lessons from the same staff that teach the music majors, and pursue a passion. PLU prepared me very well for what I am doing now. I was hired for general (K-4) music in the district I was in simply because they didn’t have another band job but didn’t want to lose me to a different district, that’s what having PLU Music Ed can do for your resume. Now I am teaching beginning (and very early) band and every opportunity I was given through trumpet lessons, brass lab, and band methods, I use every day. In any given day I will play clarinet, trumpet, baritone, trombone, and tuba for my students. My time at PLU really helped me to feel confident in my abilities in front of a group as well as flexibility to meet students where they are at.” — Mary Davis, Music Education, Class of 2010. Currently Director of 5th and 6th grade bands in the Bellevue School District.
“PLU was a great school to go to. When I started going there I couldn’t believe how welcoming and helpful everyone was. PLU… helped me find ways to pay for everything I needed. I attended PLU because I loved the small school atmosphere and the music program. Being the first person in my family to attend a 4-year university, I always felt encouraged there to succeed. This school equipped me with skills I never even knew I would need to run my own staging company, manage employees, and work with a diverse market of clientele.” — Zoyia Perry, Music Education, Class of 2010. Currently working as an independent real estate contractor.
“The PLU music program is outstanding in the fact that it both trains professional musicians and allows non-music majors to continue participating in music. In addition to that, it was a good fit for someone in the middle of the spectrum like myself. I majored in music, but never was interested in a performance or education degree, wanting a more general knowledge base and the flexibility to minor in another discipline. My classes both non-musical and musical gave me a much more informed vision of life and the world, but my non-academic experiences were just as impactful, such as the friends I made on campus and how I learned from them. I don’t think I could’ve made the leap to move 6,500 miles and experience something so new if I’d gone to a university that put less energy into turning me into a mature, critically thinking adult.” — Ben Tully, Musical Arts, Class of 2011. Currently teaching primary and middle school music in Hong Kong.
“PLU gives the amount and quality of performance opportunities needed to improve as a performer, unlike some schools where opportunities are only offered to graduate students or even ‘ringers.’ Looking back at my time at PLU, I am amazed at all the opportunities I got to either solo with a group, or feel like an important member of the group I was performing in. PLU did an amazing job of preparing me for what I’m working on now. Each week I travel to New York City to take lessons with David Krauss. I sincerely feel like I’m building and refining what I learned at PLU and that going there really prepared me for studying at the level I’m at now. PLU was extraordinarily friendly and eager to teach me when I came to visit the school, and I felt that I would have no trouble fitting there. I never expected just how great the experience actually was, and I would recommend any serious music student to consider the program at PLU.” — Ryan Foster, Trumpet Performance, Class of 2011. Currently a freelance trumpet player in New York City.
“The PLU trumpet program offered a flexible and encouraging community for me to grow not only as a musician but also as someone who is intentional about caring for the self and others through nurturing gifts and talents. As someone who had a double major outside of the music department, I was very grateful to have teachers and ensembles that challenged me but also took seriously my commitment to other academic pursuits.”— Joe Natwick, Religion and Classics, Class of 2011. Currently a Lutheran pastor in North Carolina.
“PLU was all about going beyond just teaching students to regurgitate information and actually teaching them to think critically and creatively and question what they know. I loved that I was able to take private lessons from a phenomenal professor and be involved in multiple groups even though I was not a music major or minor. The department didn’t have a closed-off feel where non-majors were unwelcome. I wouldn’t be where I am without PLU! I had many opportunities to participate in student-faculty research in the biology department and gain valuable experience that is helping me succeed in grad school now. PLU in general made me a critical thinker, a good communicator/writer, and gave me the passion to pursue my vocation.” — Allison Lansverk, Biology and English Writing, Class of 2011. Currently a research program manager at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences.
“Studying music at PLU exposed me to new perspectives and ideas that I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered. I credit my music teachers with guiding me toward the person I am today. Their thoughtful wisdom and advice taught me how to openly accept criticism, see the world differently and strive for perfection. Touring with the PLU Wind Ensemble to Australia and California are experiences I will never forget and forever cherish.” — Josh Kinne, Communication and Journalism, Class of 2014.
“It’s really hard for me to sum up my PLU experience in words, because it was absolutely incredible. I always felt supported by the faculty, and many of them continue to support and encourage me now. I appreciated the opportunity to study music in a highly professional and positive environment. The music department provided me with some amazing performance and travel opportunities, which included Alaska, Oregon, Canada, Germany, France, and Australia. PLU has prepared me to be a great musician and person as I step out into the world, and I’m sure the years I spent here will be among the most cherished of my life.” — Kimberly Stone, Music Education, Class of 2014. Currently teaches dance at Ketchikan Theater Ballet and is a ramp trainer for Alaska Airlines and works as a volunteer firefighter and EMT.
“My PLU experience was one in which I was challenged to stretch and grow. I would have not chosen anyone else to guide me through an embouchure change than Dr. Lyman and Dr. Castro. Picking apart minute details that is playing the trumpet has helped not only in my playing but most importantly in becoming an educator!” — Sebastian Hernandez, Music Education, Class of 2015. Currently teaches elementary music and steel pan ensemble in the Puyallup School District.
“I chose to attend PLU after hearing about how great the music program is there. I have had tons of experiences here, but what stands out the most was how hard I was pushed through the program. Dr. Lyman and Dr. Castro both consistently went out of their way to help me with my specific needs and ensure my success. The ensembles were challenging, memorable, and filled with many talented musicians who I had the time of my life making music with. The entire music staff worked hard to create such fun, challenging, and unforgettable experiences. Being a part of this amazing program has not only taught me to be a better musician, but to also push myself to my limits in everything that I love to do. It has taught me to never give up in any difficult situation and always strive for excellence.” — Mykal Moody, Musical Arts, Class of 2015. Currently a manager for Regal Cinemas.