Jordan College of Fine Arts
School of Music

Profiles of Selected Butler Music Students

Kassie Eberle - B.A. (Applied Emphasis), trumpet

For trumpet major Kassie Eberle, it was the variety of ensembles and close-knit atmosphere that brought her to Butler. "The campus was really welcoming and the faculty knew me by name," she says. "I'm a trumpet player, but I also like to sing. The music education program prepares you for more than just your specific area."

At Butler, Kassie has been involved in choir, jazz band, orchestra and wind ensemble. She also plays in a quintet chamber ensemble. "One of the best things about the program here is that you can play in several ensembles without feeling completely overwhelmed," she says.

Kassie particularly enjoys the private instruction she receives. "The instructors are so easy to get along with," she says. "They are very experienced, so they always have a lot of insight to share."

When she had to miss class for a week because of a family emergency, Kassie appreciated the concern of her classmates and instructors. "When you're not in class, the teachers are concerned about you," she says. "When I was out for a week, Dr. Dimmick took care of everything. It's like a family - everyone cares about you and is here to help you out."

Kassie's future is likely to include careers on the stage and in the classroom. "I want to be an elementary school teacher, yet still perform," she says. "Most importantly, I want to share music with other people."

Back to Top

Matt Harris - B.M. in Percussion Performance

A drummer since the age of nine, music has been an integral part of sophomore Matt Harris' life. Band was a regular course through middle school and high school, and as a high school freshman, Matt already knew that he was headed for a career in music.

"It just hit me," Matt says. "I was listening to one of my favorite songs, and I knew I had to do this for the rest of my life, so that's when I decided I wanted to be a percussionist and that's when I really started getting serious about it and practicing." Matt says he listened to a lot of music, took lessons from a private instructor and watched videos to help his musical talent flourish.

After attending another university and being dissatisfied with his experience, Matt headed to Butler and has enjoyed every minute. "It was like a breath of fresh air to come here and have people be nice to you," Matt says. "I love the campus, the size of the school is great, my class sizes are awesome and the percussion studio is growing."

Matt says the faculty at Butler has played a large part in his positive experience. Jon Crabiel, percussion instructor, has been particularly influential in Matt's education. "He isn't just about the notes and what you're playing," Matt says. "He wants you to feel it and for it to be a part of you while you're playing."

Matt has also enjoyed some of the unique opportunities Butler has afforded him. When Bobby McFerrin performed at Clowes Hall, Matt played with McFerrin in special master classes that were offered prior to the performance. The evening of the concert, Matt took the stage along with McFerrin and played percussion for part of the show. Matt says he's also been able to experiment with a variety of percussion instruments at Butler, which has been exciting since he wasn't accustomed to playing anything other than drums.

"There are a lot of opportunities here," Matt says. "You're going to learn a lot and still have fun."

Back to Top

Lindsey Kannen - B.M. in Music Education, choral and piano

Lindsey Kannen connected with the Butler faculty on her first visit to the campus. "I remember knowing that I wanted to come to Butler because one of the professors at my audition said, 'We're looking for potential, not perfection.'" For Lindsey, that encouraging teaching style was not only important for her growth as a performer, but it is also a model for her development as a future educator.

Lindsey, a choral music education major from Akron, Ohio, says the exposure to a range of classroom environments has reinforced her decision to become an educator. "We see such a variety of classroom settings here at Butler; and we actually teach while we're in those classrooms, which is something people don't always get to do at other schools."

Those teaching experiences include working with a variety of institutions and the opportunity to instruct an even larger range of students. Lindsey has taught at the Butler Community Arts School, where she gave beginning piano lessons to students from ages four to 30. She has also had the opportunity to teach young children through Kindermusik, an early childhood music and movement program for children from birth to the age of seven. This program instructs parents along with their children on ways music can enhance cognitive, emotional, social and language skills, as well as physical development.

Lindsey's internship in Indianapolis also gave her the chance to work with exceptional people and innovative teaching methods. Interning at the Indiana School for the Blind allowed Lindsey to observe and work with students who are visually impaired. "One of the teachers I worked with put textured shapes on the keys so the students could feel a difference in the notes. Ideas like that made such a difference in the way they felt about music."

Lindsey says she feels good about what she is doing when she hears that music class is the favorite time of day for so many of her students. "Music was always my favorite class, and I love that so many of the students I work with feel the same."

Back to Top

Scott Martin - B.M. in Music Education, choral and voice

Scott Martin always knew he wanted to teach, but never knew what subject until he was cast as the lead in a high school musical. With the direction and influence of his high school choir director, it soon became crystal clear for the Zionsville, Indiana native that music would be his pursuit.

Scott's love of music led him to audition for the Music Leadership Institute, a program that provides an opportunity for a select group of high school students to tour and perform internationally in locations such as Brazil, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Jamaica. It was during his international experience that Scott was introduced to Dr. Tim Brimmer, founder and director of the Music Leadership Institute and associate professor of music education and technology at Butler.

It was Dr. Brimmer that helped Scott discover Butler and the medley of musical opportunities it could provide him.

"My freshman year, I was part of the musical Pippin and served as the director," Scott says. "It was a really neat to see that unfold and see how the students involved worked together to put on a show." Scott, now a junior, is also a member of Jordan Jazz and Butler Chorale.

Scott says he also enjoys the close-knit community that Butler provides and the personal attention and instruction from the professors. "Butler is very personal because of the smaller campus and the smaller class size," Scott says. "I am in a conducting class with six people, and all the classes I've been in are pretty small. That won't be the case everywhere you go."

Back to Top

Molly Wood - B.M. in Piano Performance

When many high school students were beginning to plan their careers, piano performance major Molly Wood was realizing her passion for music. "I realized that music was my life," she explains. "I knew that I wanted to do something in college that I could enjoy for the rest of my life. My plans had to include music."

Molly's campus visits sold her on studying music at Butler. "I came for piano camp and met many of the faculty and other students. Meeting the faculty really brought me here - I could tell that they would focus on me as an individual. The students would always talk with me and introduce me to people, even though I was only a high school senior."

At Butler, Molly particularly enjoys the atmosphere of her piano studio. "My studio is like a family," she says. "We get along and work together, we always include the freshmen and help each other out. It's not a competitive environment."

As part of the Butler Community Arts School, Molly teaches beginning piano to three community children. She devotes three hours a day to practice and accompanies the university choir three times a week. It's a busy schedule, but one that she enjoys.

Molly is spending her last two years at Butler trying to determine her next steps. "I'll definitely go to graduate school," she says. "I might study performance or composition, maybe even look into film composition. I'm exploring my options, but I know the people here can help me figure it out."

Back to Top

Zach Stachowski - B.M in Violin Performance

Violin performance major Zach Stachowski sees some truth to the common belief that violinists love the spotlight.

"I have to be honest, I guess I fall into that stereotype," he admits. Yet when he describes his favorite Butler experiences the emphasis is on sharing the spotlight. He appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with other departments within the college; from sharing the stage with choral students to donning tights for a featured role with the Butler Ballet.

"There is a lot of cooperation between faculty members and collaboration between departments," Zach adds. "Everyone gets along here, which really lets people concentrate on their art."

He has been concentrating on his art since he was three years old and can trace his commitment to music to one teenage moment at Interlochen Arts Camp.

"I was playing a piece by Schubert and it just struck me, and I just stopped. I can pinpoint that as the moment when I knew I wanted to make music part of my life forever," he recalls. There is no question that music is part of his life now. He practices four hours every day and performs regularly, both as a part of the Butler Symphony Orchestra and independently with various local groups, including a solo performance with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Zach cites Butler's Indianapolis location as a boon to student performers who find many opportunities to play in professional settings.

Though clearly focused on music, he chose Butler over a conservatory education precisely because of the opportunity for a more balanced liberal arts education. He also preferred the sense of community he found at JCFA.

"The environment is not a harsh, competitive one, like so many of the conservatories," he explains. He gives a lot of credit to the faculty for creating a supportive environment. "The faculty are really great here; they care about the students so much," he adds.

"You develop great relationships with the professors that are ongoing because you keep having them in class over and over again. It helps to build momentum and provide continuity."

Back to Top