Tag: get involved

CMU’s School of Music: Why the Many Hours in a Practice Room Are Worth It

So far, the three years I have spent studying music at CMU have been the most challenging, but also the most rewarding.

Emma Heinrichs - CMU’s School of Music: Why the Many Hours in a Practice Room Are Worth It

Studying music is unique because you are constantly able to see how the things you are learning in the classroom directly relate to your individual growth as a musician.

This allows us to see how our hard work is paying off, and provides a reward for the endless amount of hours spent in a practice room!

CMU takes a more holistic approach to music. The music program aims to develop well-rounded musicians, as opposed to musicians who are only proficient in one area. And it addresses many areas of musicianship that are often overlooked and not covered in private music lessons.

I have also found that CMU values you as a person. Yes, you are here to get an education, but your success as an individual is also valued.

Within the larger community of CMU, the music school feels like a tight-knit family of students and faculty, who support and care for one another. I feel comfortable asking my profs questions about my degree, assignments, future, or even just what’s going on in my life.

Within the music degree, CMU places value on collaborative work, which allows you to share in the process of music making with your peers.

For me, collaborative work has given me the opportunity to work together with various vocalists and instrumentalists, sing in and accompany choirs, lead music in chapel, and play in the Mennonite Community Orchestra.

Emma Heinrichs - CMU’s School of Music: Why the Many Hours in a Practice Room Are Worth It

Several highlights for me have been singing in CMU ensembles with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, accompanying a vocalist for their credit recital, and playing in the Verna Mae Janzen Music Competition. All of these are experiences where I have seen my learning applied practically, and how it’s paid off.

It’s tough to truly experience what I mean if you’re not in the music program at CMU. But every once in a while, the music program gives a glimpse into the tight-knit family that it is. And there’s probably no better place to witness that than at Christmas at CMU.

Though it’s not a requirement to be a music student to be in one of CMU’s many ensembles, the strengths of the music program that I mentioned, such as the holistic education and community, really shine through at the make-your-own Christmas concert. So get in the holiday spirit, and come to Christmas at CMU on Saturday, November 25th with concerts at 2:00 and 7:00!

Emma Heinrichs is a 3rd year Music student at CMU.

Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

Here’s a scenario for you: You’re in elementary school and you come home from school, only to have your parents ask, “What did you learn today?” What did you respond with? I’ll bet you responded with, “I don’t know,” and then proceeded to tell them all about what you did at recess, or your lunch hour club.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

You may not be in elementary school anymore, but are things really that different? We learn lots in school, but the memories that stick with us come from everything in between classes. That’s why getting involved at CMU is so important. It’s the moments like playing a game of pool in the second floor Poetcker Hall lounge, volleyball games, or going on the Fall Retreat that stand out.

That’s why getting involved at CMU is so important. 

There is just as much to be learned and experienced from extra-curricular activities at CMU as there is from the classroom. That includes anything from learning how to be a good friend from the community life, to learning various skills from being on student council.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

But you have to be willing to put yourself out there. It’s tough not to be intimidated about getting involved early in your university career. Looking back, I could have gotten more involved earlier in my time at CMU. As a communications student who loves to write, you’d think I’d have thrown my name in for The Doxa right away. Instead, I waited until my fourth year. Why? That’s a question I still ask myself.

Writing for The Doxa was one of the best decisions I’ve made at CMU in several ways. It was a great way to connect with other students and have a time to get away from the regular homework at weekly meetings. It gave me an opportunity to do something I loved. But it also equipped me with some valuable tools for a career in communications. For one, it gave me some starting pieces to add to a portfolio of published articles; something that any communications professional will need no matter where they apply for a job. It also helped me hone my writing skills, and let me experiment with different styles of writing in a safe environment.

Jason Friesen - Beyond the Books: Why you won’t regret getting involved at CMU

Better yet, the opportunity I had with The Doxa gave me opportunities outside of CMU. While people are often aware that smaller universities offer plenty of places to get involved within the school, they commonly have the misconception that they don’t offer as great of opportunities outside the halls of the institution. That couldn’t be more wrong in CMU’s case. Being involved at CMU and joining The Doxa helped me get a job at the Winnipeg Sun this past summer, and prepared me for a practicum at True North Sports and Entertainment this year.

Being involved at CMU and joining The Doxa helped me get a job at the Winnipeg Sun this past summer, and prepared me for a practicum at True North Sports and Entertainment this year.

What’s the point of this story? Well, it could happen to you too. What better place is there to build a foundation, and make some friends? Where else will you get opportunities like you do in university? These things get tougher after university life, so make the best of them while you’ve got the access to them. You won’t regret it. 

Jason Friesen is our lead blogger, and he’s in his final year of a Communications and Media degree at CMU.

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