A Student Story: Gene Ritter, Music Education

EKU Online Music Education Graduate Student Eugene Ritter

“I’ve looked at a lot of programs out there, and I continue to be impressed with this one,” said EKU Online music education student Gene Ritter.

Gene loves working with choral groups and church groups, but his dream is to teach.

He started graduate programs at other schools, but life intervened. He would move or find himself working in rural areas, which made it impossible to stay on track.

The fully online format, small class size and supportive environment offered by EKU appealed to him. He liked that the program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM).

Faculty worked with him to transfer in a number of electives from classes taken elsewhere, which will help him graduate quicker.

“Considering the historic roots of EKU as a brick-and-mortar institution that is committed to training educators, I was even more convinced that this would be a great fit for me,” he explained.

He has found the course work to be well-designed. It covers the essentials and also allows him to pursue his individual interest in choral music. The instructors provide personalized attention.

“The faculty members have been phenomenal. They are very responsive. They provide individual feedback, guidance and encouragement,” he said. Even more challenging topics, such as theory and research, are presented by EKU faculty in ways that inspire students and ease their anxiety.

Gene describes “Career Management for Musicians,” taught by Dr. Bernardo Scarambone, as one of the most unique courses. “It explored ongoing career development after graduation, professional organizations, best sources to look for jobs in the field, and discipline-specific practices in terms of writing bios and CVs. We had mock interviews, conducted by music professionals around the country, to help us develop those skills,” he explained.

Gene is currently working on his final project, a handbook to help choral instructors design warm ups that correlate with the pieces being performed.

“The process of completing this degree has invited me to reawaken my own involvement in music at many levels and reflect on how this will impact those I teach,” said Gene.

Published on November 03, 2016