Alumnus Nathan Brewer Completes Master of Music Education
MBU alumnus Nathan Brewer (’15) recently completed a Master of Arts in Music Education program at San Francisco State University.
After graduating from Maranatha, Brewer began teaching music full-time at San Francisco Christian School and directing the music at Calvary Baptist Church. “Upon completing my 198 credits at Maranatha, I did not envision myself pursuing further higher education,” Brewer writes. However, his experience with the San Francisco State University’s Wind Ensemble changed his mind.
“Shortly after beginning my job in San Francisco, I became involved with the SF State Wind Ensemble to continue making music with others while sharpening my clarinet playing,” Brewer recalls. “The positive experience I had there as a community member, the short fifteen-minute commute, and the reasonable cost all nudged me to begin considering higher education again.” After teaching full-time for two years and prayerfully considering additional studies, Brewer decided to begin working towards a master’s degree. He will always be thankful for the SF State Wind Ensemble: “I have performed with them as a community member and then as a student, and I plan to continue performing with them as an alumnus.”
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for his master’s degree, Brewer researched, wrote, and defended his thesis Sight-Singing in Professional Children’s Choirs: Three Conductor’s Perspectives on Teaching Audiation.“I made several good professional contacts during the researching of my topic and enjoyed listening to many Bay Area children’s choirs rehearsing and performing,” Brewer comments. “After successfully passing my thesis defense, my graduate adviser shook my hand and said, ‘Congratulations, Master Brewer!’”
During the last two years, Brewer has learned the value of in-depth research: “While I used to associate higher degrees with higher intelligence, I now consider the display of dedication and perseverance they are to the academic field. The sheer amount of time I invested in researching my topic showed me how practical research skills can be used to investigate any topic of interest to me. I learned how to dive deep into a narrow field and discover what the research currently offers and was privileged to meet some exceptionally gifted educators in the process.”
Pursuing higher education while teaching has its advantages, as Brewer has found: “I learned to raise my musical expectations of my students even higher. My students love learning when it is fun and interesting. Because I have been consistently learning new things that excite me musically, it inspires me to keep my everyday teaching filled with exciting musical opportunities.”
When asked how he sees this degree helping him in the future, Brewer answers, “I have already seen a positive difference in my choral teaching ability because of what I have learned through the past two years of research, study, and writing. I would like to continue my growth as a music educator who instructs students not to only love music and understand it but also come to know the Creator of music.”
Written by Makayla Stevenson