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Wright Through my Eyes: Katie West

Katie West | Photo provided by Katie West

Katie West | Photo provided by Katie West

Wright State University is a place known for diversity. It is not only familiar for its diversity in people, but for its diversity in the arts.

When referring to degrees, many people think of engineering, law, medicine or science majors, but people forget just how important the School of Music is at WSU, especially for many students such as Katie West.

West is a freshman majoring in music education with a focus in violin performance. Growing up in Kettering, Ohio, coming from a family of entirely WSU graduates, West had quite an influence.

West’s first time playing a violin was in the sixth grade when she and everyone else in Fairmont were part of the exploratory music program. Ever since, West had developed a love for playing the violin.

She has played in the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and String program, which is a professional musical group, and has had the opportunity to play for the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) Professional Development Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.

“Music is definitely a way of expression and showing what you love,” said West.

Taking College Credit Plus (CCP) classes her senior year of high school, West was given an even better perspective of what WSU is like; she subsequently applied to and auditioned for admission to the school of music. Later, not only was she accepted, she was offered a scholarship.

Despite the many jobs a person with a music education degree can obtain, West has chosen a different path. At an educational conference she attended in Indiana, West saw multiple different sides of music education such as teaching beginners, teachers and workshops at conferences.

“Education is really what I love. I love seeing and helping people who have failed nine times and finally get it on their 10th try and being so empowered to keep going and to keep pushing forward, realizing that they have all the skills they need to pursue what they want.”

West’s dream job includes teaching beginners in orchestra and strings. A part of this has to do with the environment that she is exposed to at WSU.

“It’s just this big support system of amazing professors and supportive students that makes the school so unique in every single way. The professors have such amazing backgrounds that they’re sharing with students.”

As music is a very hands-on learning process, during the circumstances with coronavirus, West has learned to make amends. Though the quarantine has affected concerts and big gala performances, she shares that lecturers such as Mr. William Jobert are doing a great job of teaching in this different environment.

“He [Jobert] is doing a great job of showing us how these instruments work and he’s really keeping the class alive from outside of the classroom.”