Articles tagged with: faculty of humanities

  • Music majors to make an impact in Niagara with new Practicum course

    A group of Music majors are taking their learning into the real world this fall as they complete the new Music Practicum course. Led by Music Chair Matthew Royal (back left) and Course Co-ordinator Tim Stacey (back right), this year’s students include (front, from left) Jesse Day, Shaniqua Goodridge, Brielle Kaminsky, Sarah Hollick, Ryan Baxter and Gavino Oresta.


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    A group of Brock Music majors will put their classroom learning into practice this fall as the first students enrolled in the new Music Practicum course.

    The multi-year conjunction course allows students to complete for-credit volunteer placements in either music education, music health/therapy, music administration or music in the community.

    Music Chair Matthew Royal said the course is unique because it provides real-world learning experiences while also giving students course credit and volunteer hours that are often required for those applying to Faculties of Education down the road.

    “The idea is to introduce students to real-world settings that might line up with their future career goals and to have them apply the skills and knowledge they’ve learned from their courses in those settings,” he explained.

    It also helps students discover what they are interested in career-wise and how they can achieve their long-term goals, added Koreen McCullough, Experiential Education Co-ordinator, Faculty of Humanities.

    “Learning what you don’t like is just as valuable as learning what you do like,” she said. “Students are not only getting the valuable placement experience through this course but are also being taught up front to set their own goals. At the end of term, they will have a chance to reflect on challenges and achievements, access resume coaching and really apply what they’ve learned to help achieve their future career goals.”

    Six Music majors signed up to work in schools and community organizations around the Niagara region this year.

    Course Co-ordinator Tim Stacey (BA ’15) said the students have already shown themselves to be extremely dedicated and enthusiastic.

    “They’ve worked on these placements over the summer, made connections and did their own research to find them,” said Stacey, who has worked for community choirs as well as the Niagara Symphony and Youth Orchestras since graduating from Brock’s Music program. “They didn’t get to just pick a selection from a list. They had to find the placement themselves, so it’s evident how engaged they are.”

    Gavino Oresta, a fourth-year Music student, will be completing his placement working with music classes at Saint Michael Catholic High School in Niagara Falls, alongside his former high school music teacher, coincidentally.
    With plans to become a music teacher himself, Oresta is looking forward to the challenge of leading his own lessons with the high school students this year.
    “For anyone interested in teaching, it’s a great environment,” he said. “It’s also good to get different perspectives on how teachers go about their lesson structure because every school goes about their music program a bit differently.”

    Learning about different teaching styles was what piqued the interest of second-year student Brielle Kaminsky, who will be working with extracurricular music ensembles, such as the choir, jazz band and string ensemble, at Ridley College in St. Catharines.

    “I’m going to be working with students from all over the world in my placement and it’s really cool seeing how different cultures practice music,” she said. “Not only am I learning in the classroom myself, but I also get to go out and teach what I’m learning in the class to students, too.”

    Adds Oresta: “Plus, you’re hanging around in a music class, which is just fun and exciting to me on its own.”For the first few weeks of the course, students will engage in workshops that will identify their learning outcomes for the term and outline the benefits of experiential learning. They will begin their work placements in late September, with the aim of completing 50 volunteer hours by April.

    The course is open to all Music majors in second year and above and can be taken consecutively year after year. Applications for next year’s practicum course will open in the spring and anyone interested in applying is encouraged to  contact Matthew Royal or Tim Stacey.

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, News

  • Student completes music degree started 18 years ago in Mexico

    Mexico’s Luis Gerardo Molina will graduate from Brock Friday with a degree in Music.

    (from The Brock News,  Tuesday, June 05, 2018 | by )

    For 20 years, Luis Gerardo Molina worked his way up the corporate ladder of a growing computer software firm in his home country of Mexico.

    After high school, he had made what he viewed as a responsible decision to choose a stable career in technology over a fragile one as a classical pianist, but his love of music kept pulling at him like a magnet.

    Eventually, he gave in, and on Friday, June 8, at the age of 48, his career change will be official when he graduates from Brock University with a degree in Music.

    “It means everything,” said Molina. “That was a dream that I always wanted to make happen and I really struggled to get it.”

    Born into a family of talented musicians, Molina grew up around choirs and instruments, and by the age of six it was obvious he had a gift. At nine, he started working with a piano teacher and for eight years he attended a specialized school of music that turned his hobby into a craft.

    “I finished my high school and I had that dilemma many people face — should I devote my life to music? Is that a safe path for the rest of my life?” Molina said. “I decided to follow an alternative career. I always really liked the maths, so I decided to choose engineering.”

    A literal flip of a coin at the age of 17 made Molina choose computer engineering over civil engineering, and that set in motion a software career that lasted 20 years.

    But while his career progressed to the point of becoming a manager, so did his ongoing love of music. Having never truly given up his dream of being a professional pianist, Molina went back to the University of the Americas part time in 2000, completing two years of a four-year degree before realizing the workload wasn’t sustainable.

    Luis Molina’s music career has taken him to competitions and performances around the world.

    “It was just too much,” he said.

    But an invitation to an international piano competition in Paris in 2003 ramped up his duelling interests. After beating out nearly 100 competitors from 35 countries to win the contest, he was invited to more international performances and competitions, leading to the production of his first album of live recordings.

    “I got very good support from the company I was working for. The owner was a kind guy who was also involved in music and he always felt proud to tell them he had an employee with this background in competition and music,” said Molina, who traveled to the U.S., Germany, Russia, Poland and elsewhere over the years.

    “After doing all that, I decided the music is calling me more and more,” he said. “The company I was working for was growing and every day it was getting more complicated to do both things together.”

    Finally in 2015, the door opened to make music his full-time endeavour. He was hired as a pianist with a philharmonic orchestra in Mexico and went back to university for his third year of music school.

    Then, in 2017, a trip to Canada to visit friends in Niagara led to another big change.

    “I loved the Niagara region so I thought, if I’m going for my passion in music, I found the perfect place to do it,” he said.

    A tour of Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and a meeting with Associate Professor of Music Karin Di Bella confirmed that Brock was where Molina would finish his degree.

    “I fell in love with what I found here. And now that I’m almost done, I feel very lucky to have had this great opportunity in this great country and at this great University,” he said.

    Di Bella called Molina “the real deal.”

    “He possesses a rare combination of drive, discipline, musical maturity, technical facility, innate musicality and a true flair for performance,” she said. “Despite his many accomplishments, he is very humble and always eager to learn, making him a true joy to work with.”

    After graduating Friday in the final day of Brock’s Spring Convocation, Molina will move on to do his master’s in musical literature and performance at Western University.

    From there, a PhD and potentially a teaching career are in his sights.

    “I’ve been performing for more than 30 years and I want to continue doing that, but I’d like to share my perspectives and teach others,” he said.

    Molina credits his wife, Marcela Lagunas Burgos, herself a talented musician who plays the cello, as playing a major role in his career success.

    “We’re definitely on the same frequency. She has supported me with everything and all the decisions.”

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, In the Media, News