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Meet our Students - Max Dykla

MAX DYKLA, B '14

Max is a senior piano major who has taken full advantage of what VanderCook has to offer.  Max is from Belding, Michigan where his involvement with music at school and in the community influenced him towards pursuing a degree in music education. At VanderCook, Max is the chapter president for National Association for Music Educators (NAfME), serves as music director for 33rd Street Productions and the TechTonics a cappella group, and works in the ensembles office. He is also a member of a student run jazz group that performs for various events on campus and in the city such as TEDxIIT  and Relay for Life, and serves as music director/pit conductor for local high school musical productions. After graduating, Mr. Dykla plans to teach and, down the road, pursue a career in professional pit orchestra playing/conducting.

"I chose VanderCook because... I completely agreed with their passion and complete focus towards music education."

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT VANDERCOOK?  I'm from Belding, Michigan. After talking to my band director about potential schools and finding out that almost every music teacher in my school district has been to VanderCook at some point, I figured it would be worth my while to look into it.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE VANDERCOOK?  First, I chose VanderCook because of its small size and the close, intimate feel expressed by the students, faculty, and staff. Second, I completely agreed with their passion and complete focus toward music education.

WHAT MAKES YOUR EDUCATION AT VANDERCOOK SO ENJOYABLE?  Every day at VanderCook is spent doing what I enjoy most: music from every angle possible.

AT VANDERCOOK YOU GET TO PLAY IN BAND AND ORCHESTRA AS WELL AS SING IN CHOIR.  WHAT ABOUT THIS DO YOU LIKE?  VanderCook gives you the opportunity to be in every ensemble, regardless of your major instrument. If you're in an ensemble that is new to you, you're still around others who are in the same boat; it is a constant, collective learning experience.

WHY IS MUSIC IMPORTANT TO YOU?  I believe music is the most visceral form of expression and can be felt by everyone, regardless of personal musical ability.

WHAT MAKES CHICAGO SUCH AN ATTRACTIVE CITY TO GO TO SCHOOL?  Chicago is ripe with opportunities; it is big without being overwhelming.

WHEN YOU ARE NOT STUDYING OR ATTENDING CLASS, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?  I love exploring the city and its sprawling suburbs. Whether it's browsing through unique stores on the Northside or catching student rush tickets to a show or concert, there are countless opportunities to keep you busy and entertained.

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