Guest Speakers Inspire University Musicians

Research shows that bringing in outside speakers with varied perspectives and experience to business and educational functions produces long-lasting benefits to the audience. The Maranatha music department recently brought in several speakers to give MBU’s music students a fresh look at the field they plan on working in through presenting them with proven strategies and techniques to help them succeed.


Violin maker and repairman Noah Scott recently presented his work to the MBU’s string pedagogy students in the Music Pedagogy Seminar class. Scott works at Seman Violins, where he both uses his skill in instrument repair and implements his real passion: making violins. He received the invitation to present at MBU from music professor Melody Steinbart. Northwestern, Wheaton College, and Bradley University were all previous beneficiaries of  the  presentation Scott gave at Maranatha. Scott answered some questions the students had about instrument maintenance, but mainly presented the importance of the repair business to music teachers and the benefits to both shop and teacher of a healthy, working relationship between the two. Scott hoped to encourage the pedagogy students to actively create, develop, and maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with a local repair shop when they started their own private studios in the future.


Veteran piano instructor Alison Boorujy also presented in the Music Pedagogy Seminar class at the invitation of piano professor Janet Tschida. Boorujy completed her graduate pedagogy degree at Westminster Choir College and taught at the New School of Music which was co-founded by Frances Clark and Louise Goss. Clark and Goss were two prominent pedagogues of the twentieth century whose methodologies continue to influence students and teachers alike. Clark and Goss co-authored the Music Tree curriculum, and Boorujy demonstrated some of the wonderful benefits of implementing this series. One of Boorujy’s former students, Kaylee Barr, is now a senior pedagogy major at Maranatha, and the class enjoyed seeing pictures of Barr as a young child.

After encouraging the students to implement key pedagogical philosophies of Clark and Goss such as “prepare, present, practice,” Boorujy concluded by inspiring future teachers with the now famous wisdom of Frances Clark: “There is music in every child. The teacher’s job is to find it and nurture it.”


Dr. David Ledgerwood invited experienced music arranger Brian Buda into the Arranging Repertoire class to speak to the students with his unique perspective on some aspects of the arranging process. Buda showed the class his award-winning Christmas arrangement All My Heart This Night Rejoices, recently premiered by the Indianapolis Symphony. He also gave tips and suggestions on inspiration for arranging, collaboration with others, the music program Finale, and facebook groups that deal with music engraving problems. Buda “viewed music composition and arranging as three Venn diagram circles,” recalls Ledgerwood. “The first is publisher expectation, the second private commissions and the third personal satisfaction. [Buda] said the ideal is when the circles intersected such that we are commissioned to write what is personally meaningful and that what we write is desired by the public.”


These speakers allowed the students to listen and learn first-hand from experienced musicians, both from the education and business sides of the career field. Their varied perspectives gave the MBU music students invaluable knowledge to go out and be the best teacher they can be.

article written by Peter Holloway and Makayla Stevenson