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Jill Foley

Jill (Eichorst) Foley

EMU grad year: 1996

major: music

current job/title: Suzuki violin private instructor

I give EMU full credit for where I am today with my career as a Suzuki violin teacher … The EMU music department was a wonderful, nurturing setting to study music.quote

I give EMU full credit for where I am today with my career as a Suzuki violin teacher… specifically Sharon Miller and the Preparatory Music Program. My first year at EMU I was given the opportunity to teach as an intern in the program and Sharon walked me through all that was required. She was a fantastic mentor and model teacher. Because of her encouragement, I continued my studies after graduating from EMU and received my masters degree in Suzuki pedagogy at East Carolina University.

The EMU music department, as a whole, was a wonderful, nurturing setting to study music. It is a small department and the faculty make themselves available to all students - no matter what instrument you are studying. I remember having a violin lesson on Bach with Ken Nafziger; he was able to offer his expertise on Bach which was what I needed at the time.

I was also offered many opportunities to perform, both in groups and as a soloist. These are not opportunities I would have had at a larger school.

Currently I am a stay at home mom, and I teach violin out of my home. I have a studio of 20 students. It is absolutely perfect for me because I can be at home with my two young daughters, yet I am still working professionally. Many of my friends envy my situation. Now we are moving to Minnesota and my job goes with me! Since EMU I have lived in three states and never had any difficulty finding violin students.

I would highly recommend EMU to any prospective music major. I went to EMU with the intention of staying only one year. I cannot imagine what my experience would have been had I stuck to that plan. After completing a master’s degree at a larger university, I am grateful I earned my bachelors degree in a smaller, more intimate and nurturing setting where I felt part of a community. It was also important for me to be surrounded by fellow students — and more importantly — faculty, that shared my faith. The college years are very impressionable, and I am grateful to EMU for helping shape and secure my Christian values.