As of today, I’ve officially started work as the Program Coordinator of Western Washington University’s Department of Music. After a long summer of waiting for the position to open up, applying, interviewing, and finally being offered the position, I’m extremely excited to be able to serve the very people that I was among just last year, helping young musicians find their way in the department on a full-time basis.
What does the program coordinator do?
Lots. The biggest and my favorite part of it is academic advising for students, telling them what classes they need to take, offering suggestions when things don’t line up perfectly (they often don’t), helping them graduate, etc.
I’d also like to take some of the subjects I’ve talked about on this blog (personal development, habits, mindfulness, etc) and offer that kind of advice for students who may be interested.
There’s also a lot of administrative work involved, tracking data, managing curriculum and scheduling, etc.
Honestly, this is kind of a dream job. Not long ago on Twitter I asked for suggestions of games that involved managing data on spreadsheets. That’s a pretty big part of my job now. Some would probably roll their eyes and get bored even thinking about that, but I am STOKED.
What does this mean for your composition career?
I’ll never stop composing. Writing music is a passion of mine. Honestly, I think this job will benefit my composition. When I have the time to compose—and I don’t think I’ll have as much of it—it will be more focused now.
In addition, because I don’t have to rely on my music for income, I can write the music that I truly want to write and that comes from my heart. Remember, Charles Ives was primarily an insurance salesman. He never made a significant living off of his music. And what I’m doing is even in a related field.
I get the opportunity to serve musicians now! Service is something that I think has been missing from my life for the past couple of years, and I’m really excited that it’s back again. I find it extremely intrinsically rewarding.
I’ll try to keep this blog and newsletter updated with stuff I think is interesting. It may fall by the wayside. Who knows! I’m just going to roll with the punches and see how things go. The future should be interesting, however it turns out.