Wartburg was the only place to major in music ed and music therapy

NAME: Emily Duff
HOMETOWN: Volga, Iowa
MAJOR: Music therapy and music education

INVOVLEMENT ON CAMPUS: Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Trumpet Choir, National Association for Music Education, Iowa Bandmasters Association, Wartburg Student Music Therapy Association, Alpha Delta Phi, and working at the Konditerei

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AFTER GRADUATION: Finishing up the music therapy portion of the degree by completing a six-month internship.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE WARTBURG: My first time at Wartburg was at the band camp right before my sophomore year of high school. I was always excited to come back and get to be with the people and experience the music here.

HOW DID YOU DECIDE ON YOUR MAJOR: I was really interested in music education and music therapy. There are not very many places where you can study music therapy, and definitely only one place where you can go to get both music therapy and music education. I wanted to study both, and I knew that Wartburg was able to do that for me. 

Emily Duff

HOW HAS WARTBURG SET YOU UP FOR SUCCESS IN YOUR FIELD: Right off the bat in the second semester of my entire college career I was in a classroom for 60 hours. I was observing music therapists’ sessions. I was right in there, and I was able to decide for myself that this is what I want to do and what I want to continue to do. Every semester I’ve been in classrooms, I’ve been teaching, and I’ve been leading practicum. I’ve worked with many different populations, planned sessions, implemented them, and worked on my skills as a therapist and as an educator.  

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE  FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS: Even if you don’t think you can do something, don’t be afraid to just go for it. That ensemble that you’re scared to audition for, you’ll get audition experience, even if you don’t make it in the ensemble. Every new experience that you have and every little challenge that you give yourself is going to help you grow as a person, as an educator, or as a music therapist. Every little opportunity that you can have to do that, to grow, to challenge yourself, just take it.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH THE WIND ENSEMBLE: Having been to band camp and being familiar with Dr. Hancock, his program, and his style of directing ensembles, I knew what it would be like walking in. Joining Wind Ensemble was very intimidating because I had a big audition, I had to prepare music ahead of time, and I was really unsure about it. I ended up making it my freshman year, and that proved to me that if you put in the work you can make things happen. I continued my involvement in Wind Ensemble, and it was an awesome experience playing such a high level of music with great musicians.  

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE CLASS: Living with Death with Pastor Brian Beckstrom. It sounds like a weird and kind of scary class to take but it was so awesome. We get into these really amazing discussions and just think about things that nobody ever really wants to think about but are really important to delve into.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG MEMORY: Going to Japan my sophomore year. Wind Ensemble went on an International Tour to Japan and it was incredible. We were there for all of May Term and we got to travel the country and play music. It was a really awesome experience.

WHY IS WARTBURG WORTH IT: The opportunities. The fact that I am able to get into a classroom during my second semester of my college career and that I am able to watch sessions and start my own the following year. Being able to lead, plan, and implement sessions in my practicum right away. I was able to go to Japan for a month with the band. I was able to student teach in Des Moines. All the opportunities and the people who help you get there because they genuinely want you to succeed as well make Wartburg worth it.