I graduated from UMass with a Plant and Soil Science BS, but decided to take a break from science as I wasn’t quite sure what I really wanted yet. As soon as I graduated from UMass I enrolled as a music major at GCC. I had heard many good things about the program, faculty, and department…plus it was close to home and I had friends that were also in the music program there.
The nice thing about GCC was that I felt at home right away. Having a full four years at UMass can make you feel a bit like a mechanical ant because the classes and campus are so populated. At UMass it wasn’t until my junior/senior year that I finally started feeling recognized by teachers and my fellow peers. The experience from day one in the GCC Music Department was absolutely opposite from this. The classes are small and you get to know everyone personally, the teachers as well. Having a close personal connection with the teachers and my peers around me was very important. I felt comfortable to express myself which is what music is all about, expression.
I enjoyed the process of most of the classes and private lessons too. Most classes were hands-on and participation was a large factor in doing well and learning in class. I remember looking forward to Creative Musicianship, Aural Skills, Audio Recording and Production, Songwriting and many more. The personal level and care the faculty would show made you want to be a good student, but not for a grade, for your own personal growth. I took piano and guitar private lessons and was blown away at personal connection the instructors were able to achieve with me. Instead of practicing boring musical routines, techniques, and lessons, we would dive right into fun songs and focus on utilizing the stuff I was learning and being creative with it.
All in all GCC helped me become a creative musician and gave me the confidence I needed to play in front of and for people. The students were very supportive and gave great feedback as well. Everyone there was a teacher to me, and I’m sure I was a teacher to others, as well. If it wasn’t for GCC, I wouldn’t be performing music now around the local scene with the band I’m in. I was given a bunch of new tools to write songs and improve on technique, inspiration and confidence to continue with music performance, and vital practice habits that are efficient, creative, and fun!