Shining Student Amanda Rood came to ULethbridge to learn from some of the best music instructors, and is leaving her postsecondary journey with a wealth of experience in her musical craft and in leadership.
ULethbridge professors care so much about their students. I think that this is especially felt in the Faculty of Fine Arts with such small class sizes. Never did I feel that a professor didn't have the time or energy to speak or meet with me about academics or other matters.
Meet Amanda. Generous. Creative. Exploring.
Program: Bachelor of Music | Major: Music
Why did you choose to pursue fine arts at ULethbridge?
I began trombone taking lessons with Dr. Nick Sullivan (BMus '04) when I was in grade nine. I was playing flute in Band at the time, and was also taking piano lessons. That year, I decided that I wanted to learn the trombone so I could play in the Jazz Band. I began lessons with Nick in 2015 and absolutely loved both the instrument and Nick's teaching. Although there are some excellent music programs in many other schools across Canada, none of them have Nick.
What inspires your artistic/musical practice?
Music, and fine arts in general, are different from many other disciplines in that the road is long and the gain is slow. You will find music students locked in practice rooms for hours working on one single line of music, or maybe even only a few notes. But that makes the end result all that more rewarding, and the chills that you get when playing in an ensemble, are hard to come by anywhere else.
Did you know what you wanted to study before you came to ULethbridge? Has your academic plan changed?
Originally, I was accepted into ULethbridge as a General Sciences major with focuses in biology, neuroscience and psychology. That was in December 2018, while I was still in high school. During that Christmas break, I decided music was too much a part of me not to study it in university. I still took science classes during my degree, but since switching my major and starting my studies, I always knew I belonged in music.
What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
Ensembles, whether that be chamber or not, on campus or off. There is no feeling quite like playing in a group. There is leadership and mentorship that happens between different years and different playing abilities, and there is a cohesion that is seldom found in other disciplines on campus. Collaboration, trust and hard work bring reward. That is something that will stick with me long after I graduate.
How have your professors or instructors impacted your education?
ULethbridge professors care so much about their students. I think that this is especially felt in the Faculty of Fine Arts with such small class sizes. Never did I feel that a professor didn't have the time or energy to speak or meet with me about academics or other matters. The professors that especially impacted me were Dr. Nick Sullivan, of course, as well as Dr. Josh Davies (trumpet instructor and Jazz director) and Dr. Chee Meng Low (saxophone instructor and Wind Orchestra director).
Have you received any scholarships and awards?
I have received several scholarships, some in high school and some in university. Although I believe we should apply ourselves so that we can be proud, it is rewarding to receive some monetary compensation for our hard work.
Tell us about your experiential or work-integrated learning opportunities at ULethbridge and how these have enhanced your education?
This year, I had the opportunity to work as the Assistant to the Director/Librarian of Wind Orchestra, under the direction of Drs. Josh Davies and Chee Meng Low, as well as the section leaders for the Spring semester in both Wind Orchestra and Jazz. These roles provided leadership opportunities that I had not previously been exposed to. I grew, both as a musician and a director, and I hope to bring the things I learned into my teaching career.
What are your hopes/plans for the future?
I have been accepted into Queen's University in Kingston, ON to pursue education. My plan is to become a music and science teacher with the hope that I can impact students the way that my teachers impacted me.
What advice would you like to give those about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?
Trust your gut. Say yes to as many things as you can, but if your gut is telling you that that one thing is too much, or your mental health will benefit from dropping that class, trust it. That said, trust other people too. Faculty and staff are there to guide you, and many students are very supportive of incoming students. Don't be afraid to ask for help.
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