Music is so personal, and the connections you build through it are very personal as well. I would love to spend the rest of my life showing students how empowering music can be.

Justina Bernard '19
Photo by Emily Paine, Division of Communications

"What makes the music education program here so great is its small size. Small means you receive more individualized attention. Coming from a high school that is twice Bucknell's size, I was initially intimidated walking into a class with only four or five other students. But the individual attention my music professors have given me has been invaluable. All of my professors know me and keep up with my progress in their classes to ensure that I will succeed. At a larger university, you are not guaranteed that intimate learning experience. My education is absolutely personalized to me, and I really value that.

"I realized I wanted to pursue music around my first year of high school. At the time, I was going through some personal challenges, and my music teachers were the ones who gave me a purpose to keep going. I want to be that person for others too. Music is so personal, and the connections you build through it are very personal as well. I would love to spend the rest of my life showing students how empowering music can be.

"It was important for me to get to study more than just music in college. I have always enjoyed pushing myself in other subjects, like science and English, and I didn't want to lose that experience. It is so refreshing to challenge the other side of my brain — I wouldn't have gotten that at a music or arts institution. Plus, most of my friends are not music majors, so it's great to have a network of people with different studies and interests.

"I met of a lot of these friends through my acapella group, Beyond Unison. What I really appreciate about this group is how it both adds to and breaks up my music education studies. It's also a great opportunity for me to practice my music training in a real group dynamic, and I still get to lead an ensemble as the music director. I'm able to test different methods and see what works best for everyone. Using these skills outside the classroom has better prepared me for my teaching career down the line."

Justina is from Doylestown, Pa.

Posted April 2018