The clarinet is Bryan Perez’s main instrument, but as a music education major at the University of Montevallo, he must learn how to play them all.
The sophomore from Guntersville, Alabama was introduced to the music education field by his high school teachers when he participated in honors band. As part of his major, he will get to spend time this year shadowing music teachers in a classroom and getting to experience the environment firsthand. After college, he plans to pursue a career as an elementary music educator.
“I observed classes before, but it was just a general education room,” he said. “But this time I’ll actually get to immerse myself in a band director’s or choral director’s classroom and see how they teach — not as their student, but as a fly on the wall.”
Perez’s mother has always supported him financially as far as his music extracurriculars, but he knew he would have to step up to the plate when it came to paying for his college education. He has earned multiple scholarships, including an academic scholarship, a music scholarship, the Buck Creek Industries Scholarship, the Sue Dandridge Memorial Scholarship and the Twenty-First Century Club scholarship.
“I just felt it was my job to financially be able to sustain myself,” he said. “I want to be able to say I graduated with a bachelor’s degree with no student debt.”
Here at UM, Perez is vice president of the Music Teachers’ National Association (MTNA), a member of the National Association for Music Education Collegiate (NAfME) and an orientation leader.
“The statement ‘You Belong at Montevallo’ is something that is dear to me because you can find it anywhere (on campus),” he said. “I tell our orientation groups that there’s so many outlets and opportunities where you can make that statement true to yourself. You can find it in SGA, you can find it at orientation, you can be a Montevallo Maven. I’ve found that within my department and as an orientation leader, and it’s brought me such great joy.”