Willord Simmons is a student in music education at DePaul University School of Music.
What first got you interested in music?
Classical music was an immediate attraction of mine from a very young age. You could often find me mindlessly plucking at the keys of a piano. My parents had no musical skills, but enrolled me in piano lessons and helped foster what desires I naturally expressed. As time passed, I joined my school’s choir and band programs. My time in these programs encouraged and developed my vision for a career in music education.
What do you like best about music?
Now, while at the DePaul University School of Music, I enjoy performing with talented musicians and learning to teach music effectively. Amid the dozens of musical experiences I’ve had, I still enjoy the organic connection that music creates between individuals. It is nearly impossible to create and perform music in an ensemble and leave without developing a meaningful connection with someone. Over the years, I have gathered a community of musicians and the experiences that I’ve had with them continue to follow me throughout my career. With the beauty that comes from such a demanding art, an intensified sense of criticalness accompanies.
What’s been the hardest part about studying music?
I have struggled to establish a healthy balance between critical self-analyzation and enjoyment for the art that I love. DePaul has taught me to find joy in my performance while remaining critical in a way that is constructive. It is this genuine nature of care and support that drew me to DePaul. Without the relationships I have gained, I would not be the student, individual nor musician I am now.
What do you like about DePaul?
The uplifting atmosphere that accompanies the high quality of teaching is what makes the School of Music influential upon students. During my time at DePaul, I have learned more than I could’ve imagined and I’m confident that I will be able to apply that knowledge in my career as I look forward. Thanks to all my professors, conductors, administrators and peers, I am determined to make a difference.
Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
With all that I’ve gathered, it is my wish to lead a School of Music as an administrator. The DePaul University School of Music has supplied me with valuable opportunities for growth that I will continue to rely on as I progress in my career. The people I’ve bonded with have been added to my musical chain of experiences and actively contribute to the lingering harmonies that will impact individuals for years to come.