The music education program emphasizes experience in the classroom right from the get go. Starting first semester, we went to schools to teach. At most universities, you don’t have that kind of experience until your junior year.

Updated June 9, 2017: During Commencement, Aaron received the Barbara Watson Grever Prize, awarded to an outstanding musician in the graduating class. Congratulations, Aaron!


Aaron Messersmith '17"The music education major is truly a hidden gem at Bucknell. It's a small program, but it's the reason I chose Bucknell. The program emphasizes experience in the classroom right from the get go. Starting first semester, we went to schools to teach. At most universities, you don't have that kind of experience until your junior year. Last semester, I even got to complete a practicum and taught eight times at a local middle school. The resources we have access to are incredible. Especially as a percussionist, we have a lot of great practice spaces and equipment to practice with. I have my own studio — that's practically unheard of for a percussionist! I also have the opportunity to participate in all of the instrumental bands on campus including the symphonic band, orchestra, jazz band, pep band, and Rooke Chapel Ringers.

"The music department has incredible professors. Professor Kimberly Councill stands out especially. She is one of the most well-connected educators in the state, on top of being an all-around amazing person. She focuses on teaching in special education classrooms, which allows us as students to do some extensive work in environments that we might not have otherwise. This summer, I will be joining her in Perth, Australia, to observe music education at a local university. There, we will take extensive observation notes of how professors teach music education to university students and how music educators teach music in the classroom. We will then do a comparative study of the two sets of notes and write a research proposal for the International Society for Music Education. If accepted, we plan to go to Scotland to present our findings.  

"Outside of the department, I'm also a Residential Adviser (RA) for the Environmental Residential College Alumni hall. I first got involved with residential education last year when I lived in the Humanities Residential College. I took a foundation seminar called Posthuman Humanities, a super cool class with Professor John Hunter where we discussed ideas like humans becoming robots. It was really nice to live with the same people you have classes with. It was an eclectic group because so many different kinds of students were interested in the foundation seminar. I've also participated in some really great community service activities and travelled to New York and D.C. as both an RA and resident in the Residential Colleges. The residential education program here at Bucknell is so unique in that it fosters a level of community that you might not see anywhere else."

Aaron is from Homewood, Ill.

Posted on  April 27, 2015

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