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Music Major Spends Summer in Europe
Southeast senior Justin Moore of Cape Girardeau, Mo., is a busy man with big plans. He is currently taking a “break” from his triple major in vocal music performance, vocal music education, and German to study abroad for the summer at the Friedrich-Schiller Universitaet in Jena, Germany, and privately with a vocal instructor who received her degrees from two of the most prestigious Conservatories of Music in Germany.
After applying to the German language program in Jena, Justin was able to find his Voice Instructor through various contacts in the musical field in Germany. In discussing his initial reaction to studying in a completely foreign country, Justin responded, “Both were very foreign to me, since they were based out of a very different culture and administered by complete strangers. It was very intimidating to say the least. However, the instructors in both the [Department of Music] and the Foreign Language offices at Southeast were extremely helpful and incredibly supportive of my decision to make the most of this opportunity.”
In addition to completing the application process required for the program, Justin was also had to prepare extensively for the time he would spend studying and living in Germany. He did this through a year of intensive language study in addition to vocal instruction. Even after such thorough preparation, the program is quite demanding. A full course load like the one Justin chose required about five and one-half hours of study per week in addition to research and the extra practice time needed to prepare for private vocal lessons. He also had to stay in contact with his Southeast instructors and report to them on the progress he made with his instructors in Germany.
The program, however, was not simply a summer of grinding away in the practice rooms and the library. Justin found plenty of time to experience the culture of his summer home and to meet many new friends and colleagues.
“Probably the best part of this study abroad program,” he says, “is the ability to meet people from all over the world and interact with them on a regular basis. I have met and befriended people from all over Europe and Asia…In America, I feel as though we rarely get a chance to experience other cultures as they truly are. The social order, the intimacy among friends, the political landscape, and the cultural identities that have formed these countries for thousands of years are all things that provide the world we live in with exotic and fascinating lifestyles.”
A few things – personal space, slang and various other cultural differences -- required adjustment on his part and for foreign students attempting to acclimate themselves to the German lifestyle.
“It was,” he said, “also quite difficult to uproot my entire life and transplant it to this part of the world…Just imagine coming to a city where absolutely nothing is familiar, not even the language or the customs, and trying to adapt to it all.”
Justin appears to have made the most of his European odyssey and will use it to make the most of his music education experience at Southeast. After graduation, he plans to pursue graduate work at another conservatory or school of music, perform, and then settle down to a career teaching at a university. One of his pet dreams to is to help establish a school of music at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio, one of the premier Catholic universities in the country. Justin, an active member of Catholic Campus Ministry at Southeast whose faith remains the center of his life, also says this of his future plans: “I would also like to become fully fluent in German and Italian…I want to marry the woman of my dreams and raise a family of however many children God blesses me with.”