MASTA PD Grant – Summer Master’s Degree

By Joe Harmsen

This past year looked a little different than most. Plans were altered or cancelled, masks were worn, and large gatherings were avoided by most in order to do our part against the all-too-familiar pandemic. For those of us in “summer school”, this meant that college courses were moved completely online. Last summer, I completed my second of three summers in my Master of Music in Music Education degree at Michigan State University. My studies included, but weren’t limited to, exploring philosophical and sociological concepts and considerations in music education, learning how to thoroughly dissect a piece of music and come up with a compelling analysis of it, and learning about a variety of digital and electronic music-making applications. I also took applied piano lessons and was able to get better at reading and playing music on the piano, as well as improve my piano playing technique in general. Although taking 11 credits entirely on a computer screen certainly put a strain on my eyes and had me sitting at home on a computer more than I would have preferred, my professors and classmates at MSU helped to make it a very successful and worthwhile experience.

I want to thank MASTA for once again helping me to afford my graduate school experience! Through the generous professional development grant I received from MASTA, I was able to continue the pursuit of my Master’s degree.

Go green, go white!