MASTA Professional Development Grant – Summer Learning

by Joe Harmsen

Ah, summer. For teachers, it is a time of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. While I certainly made time for these endeavors, my summer did not start out that way. Instead of sitting on a beach with a book and drink of choice in hand, I spent many long hours reading thousands of pages from college textbooks in a library. This past summer, I was on the Michigan State University campus for six weeks taking 12 credits of classes toward my Master of Music Education degree. I learned about a wide array of music and music education-related topics, from exploring curriculum and aims in education, to the history and background of American folk music and related topics, the psychology of music education, and much more. I even took applied cello lessons and was able to get a little better at that darn tenor clef and thumb position! 

Although grad school is expensive, thanks to MASTA, it was made a little more affordable. I was fortunate enough to receive a professional development grant through MASTA that went toward the cost of this summer’s classes. Thank you again to MASTA for helping me to afford this opportunity to further my education! Go green, go white! 

Our Cohort of MSU students on my first day of class