Instruments

Meet Our Students

"I can't begin to imagine what my life would be like without music."

CHRISTIAN ANDERSON, cello, BMEd

 

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“I fell in love with music at a very young age. My sister had started violin and I was three years old. I had a toy violin that I pretended to play. When I was five, I started both cello and piano, and have loved music ever since.

I decided to attend VanderCook because of the community and the way the courses are structured. My most memorable moment here was performing with the Jazz Band and soloing on cello. My three brothers were there, and it was cool to see how the music impacted them. They now all play instruments.

ELIN BOKLUND, saxophone, BMEd '18

"When I decided I wanted to study music, I knew that VanderCook was the place I needed to be."

_MG_1731WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC?
I am from LaPorte, Indiana, and I first fell in love with music in church when I was just a little girl. My mom and dad would sing the hymns and I could see the organist from where we sat. From that moment on, I loved music.
 
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT VANDERCOOK AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND?
I first heard about VanderCook when the college came to my high school while they were on tour. I distinctly remember them saying that they learned each instrument and that's when I knew this was the college for me. My saxophone teacher in high school was also an alum of VanderCook and I admired the way he taught. When I decided I wanted to study music, I knew that VanderCook was the place I needed to be.
 
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AT VANDERCOOK?
My most memorable moment at VanderCook so far has been playing at and working the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic. Playing in the band at Midwest has been such an experience! There is no feeling like being on stage at one of the biggest music educator conferences in the world and being able to say, "Yeah, I played at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic!" Working the Midwest Clinic is also an experience! We get to meet so many people, both famous and infamous! Collaborating and learning from these educators is something that not many music education students get to experience like we do.
 
WHEN YOU'RE NOT STUDYING OR ATTENDING CLASS, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
I love to crochet, paint, and hang out with friends. We live in Chicago, so there is always something to do ranging from concerts to museums to festivals.
 
WHEN YOU GRADUATE, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TEACH?
After I graduate, I would like to move back to Indiana and start my career as an elementary general music teacher or a middle school band director.
 
WHAT MAKES CHICAGO A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE AND STUDY?
Chicago is a great place to live and study because we have so much to utilize right outside our front door. We have awesome opportunities around the city to be a part of and observe. For example, the World Music Festival was just held here in the city. Students also get discounted tickets for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Lyric Opera. Going to events like this will not only be a wonderful learning experience, but they might also get you a little extra credit in some of your classes and some observation hours!
 
 

"We are not just students, we are future educators. We are all here to learn, help and teach."

LUCAS BAUER, voice, BMEd 

2018Grad8829I heard about VanderCook from my high school choral director, who was a student here. He was my role model throughout high school. I also knew Dr. Sinclair from clinics and some ACDA conventions. They both had a great influence on my life and the direction it is going.
I had a lot of opportunities when it came to college. Nothing compares to VanderCook. "We are not just students, we are future educators. We're all here to learn, help and teach. 

 

RICO HOWARD, piano, BMEd '18

"I want to bring music education to youth who need it most."

_MG_9750WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC?
I am from Chicago, Illinois. I first fell in love with music as a child going to Markham Roller Rink with my family on Saturdays.
 
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT VANDERCOOK AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND?
I heard about VanderCook from an alumnus named Lawrence Jones (BMEd '97), who I met at a professional development event for music teachers at Columbia College in Chicago. I decided to attend VanderCook because I've always dreamed of becoming a music teacher. Since my high school and grade school didn't have a music program, I knew I needed to have a stronger foundation in my own music education in order to become the best teacher I can be.
 
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AT VANDERCOOK?
My most memorable moment at VanderCook was playing trombone in the VanderCook Symphonic Band at the Midwest Clinic my freshman year. Prior to my time at VanderCook, I had never played a brass instrument in my life! To play in front of so many people on such an important stage was truly unforgettable!
 
WHEN YOU'RE NOT STUDYING OR ATTENDING CLASS, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
When school is out of session, I really enjoy attending music concerts of many genres. I also enjoy going out dancing in the salsa music scene of Chicago, especially during the summer.
 
WHEN YOU GRADUATE, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TEACH?
I would like to teach in an urban area and teach choir and general music to students who, like me, have limited music education. Music education is not reserved for affluent school districts and I want to bring music education to youth who need it most.
 
WHY IS MUSIC IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Music is important to me because when I perform in an ensemble, I am reminded of the beautiful things we as human beings can accomplish when we unite under a common goal.

 

ALEX HUNT, trumpet, BMEd '18

"It's like a home away from home."

_MG_9771WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC?
My name is Alex Hunt and I'm from Peoria, Illinois. I first fell in love with music in 2nd grade at my elementary school. We were putting on our 2nd grade musical, which was about a farm, and I was chosen to sing the solo as the farmer and I knew right away - that's when I fell in love with music.
 
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT VANDERCOOK AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND?
I first heard about VanderCook through my high school band director who received his master's degree here. He spoke so highly of all the educators, the faculty, and the student body that I knew it was the place for me. It's like a home away from home.
 
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AT VANDERCOOK?
I think performing at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic will always be my favorite memory at VanderCook. Just bringing new music to so many people that are like-minded is second to none.
 
WHEN YOU ARE NOT STUDYING OR ATTENDING CLASS, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
I spend a lot of my free time at IIT's 33rd Street Productions. 33rd St. Productions is a theatre group that combines both VanderCook and IIT. I have been onstage, director, and backstage in many of their productions (both musicals and plays) since my time here and even serve on their executive board now.
 
DO YOU COMMUTE OR LIVE ON CAMPUS AND WHY?
My first year I lived in the residence halls and everything about it was so nice. It was amazing to be right on campus, just a 5-minute walk away from all the buildings and conveniences the campus offers, like a 7/11, Green Line, Red Line, etc. I had an IIT roommate which did not work out well for me, but I had an unlucky draw. Most people who room with IIT students have great stories of meeting new people that aren't "vandercookies" and love it. Since then, I've moved off campus in an apartment, first by Michigan and 26th (seven blocks away) and now in Bridgeport. The apartment life is nice since you definitely have more freedom than in the residence halls, but once I'm at school I generally stay there for the whole day until my classes are done. I would suggest living in the residence halls for at least a year to get the experience.
 
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE AT VANDERCOOK?
My biggest challenge at VanderCook has been a very interpersonal one. I've always had trust issues with myself and with others. But allowing myself to open with music and share ideas and passions with people who are so like-minded has really changed the way I view some things, and for the better.
 
 

"I love every minute of being at VanderCook."

ALIVIA JAKUBOWSKI, flute, BMEd 
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I transferred to VanderCook my second semester of freshman year because the school I was attending did not have a strong music education program. Ever since, I couldn't be happier to be part of such a great family who cares about me and wants me to be the best teacher I can be. I recently got to teach three sectionals of instruments. I would have never felt comfortable teaching before coming to VanderCook! I love every minute of being at VanderCook."

 
 

DANNY MULLIGAN, voice & percussion, BMEd '19

"My high school directors were a huge inspiration to me and led me to school here, so I'd love to also be able to help students on their college search."

_MG_2375WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC?
I am from Shorewood, Illinois, and attended Joliet West High School. I can't pinpoint a moment when I first fell in love with music! Whenever I watch old home videos, my mom always told us to sing a song in them, so it started all the way from when I was a toddler!
 
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT VANDERCOOK AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND?
I heard about VanderCook through my high school band and choir directors. Both had received their master's degrees at VanderCook, and they were both incredible teachers, so I knew this would be a good place for me. After visiting and going on a campus tour, I knew I had to attend!
 
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AT VANDERCOOK?
My most memorable VanderMoment would have to be performing with many former graduates at the alumni concert. I had the pleasure of singing next to graduates of all ages and it was a really special moment!
 
WHEN YOU'RE NOT STUDYING OR ATTENDING CLASS, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
When I'm not in class, I love listening to barbershop music! I'm also a huge Cubs and Bulls fan! I also enjoy going to Keating Sports Center and playing pickup basketball.
 
WHEN YOU GRADUATE, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TEACH?
When I graduate, I hope to go to the suburbs and teach high school choir. My high school directors were a huge inspiration to me and led me to school here, so I'd love to also be able to help my students on their college search. I also love the literature coming out for that level, so I'd really enjoy sharing that with my students.
 
DO YOU COMMUTE OR LIVE ON CAMPUS AND WHY?
I live here on campus. I find it very convenient to have the meal plan and also it allows me to stay late at school for extra practice!

 

AGATA NOCA, saxophone, BMEd '19

"My most memorable moment was the first time I saw snow here."

_MG_0930WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHEN DID YOU FIRST FALL IN LOVE WITH MUSIC?
I was born in Italy, but raised my whole life in Abuju, Nigeria. The stereotype states that Africans have an innate sense of rhythm and that music runs through their veins. Being raised by music I feel like that is how I acquired my love for music.
 
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT VANDERCOOK AND WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO ATTEND?
I knew that I wanted to go into music education my junior year of high school. When the time came to look for a school to go to, I knew I wanted a small school close to the lake. In Nigeria, everyone in my school would go overseas to study for college. After putting my requirements on the Google search bar and some research, I found VanderCook, and with lots of faith, I got on a plane and flew in to Chicago.
 
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT AT VANDERCOOK?
My most memorable moment was the first time I saw snow here (November 22nd, 2015). I got out of class and everyone was super excited to show me what snowfall looked like. Another super moment was VanderGiving. Seeing your professors perform is always an exciting opportunity.
 
WHEN YOU ARE NOT STUDYING OR ATTENDING CLASS, WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITIES?
When I'm not studying, I paint and go on adventures with friends.
 
WHEN YOU GRADUATE, WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO WORK AND WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TEACH?
When I graduate I would like to teach band in an international school, like the one I attended.
 
WHY IS MUSIC IMPORTANT TO YOU?
Music is important to me because whatever mood I'm in, music is always there to keep me company. Music is an international language.
 

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3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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