Reflections on a year in the Timashev Family Music Building
November 22, 2022
My name is CJ McGhee and I'm in my final year of studying music education at The Ohio State University. I got my start in music in elementary school and later on, my mom pushed me to step out of my comfort zone in pursuit of band. I fell in love with the trombone, which led me to set my sights on a degree in music education. While I toured several universities and conservatories, Ohio State's School of Music was the only place where I felt both appreciated and understood as a young student and aspiring professional — I was taken seriously from day one, so choosing Ohio State felt like deciding to come home. And the financial support I received was a big deciding factor.
Last spring, I was awarded the Donald E. and Ruth L. McGinnis Concert Band Scholarship, which filled the last portion of tuition I needed for this semester. I've already received so much support from my parents, so this scholarship ensured I wouldn't have to worry about how to work enough hours in order to finish my education. With that assistance, I’ve been able to focus more on my schooling, networking, practice and my musicianship, which is ultimately why I'm here. I can say for certain the financial support I’ve received from Ohio State has substantially improved my student experience and time on campus.
I've been able to develop myself as a musician, as a performer and as an educator under the guidance of wonderful faculty. My applied trombone professor, Dr. Sterling Tanner, has offered one of my most impactful relationships at Ohio State, cultivated through our one-on-one, weekly sessions since my freshman year. My high school instrumental pedagogy professor, Dr. David Hedgecoth, is an incredible teacher. He's supportive and helpful, but also knows when to push us. The work he's done with his students — not only in class but also via academic advising — is going to take me the farthest in my career.
I am grateful to have the chance to spend my senior year learning and growing in the Timashev Family Music Building. I don't know any of my peers who aren't ecstatic about it. This investment in the School of Music makes me feel valued. The classrooms are incredible, the recital hall is spacious and bright — to be honest, it's a breath of fresh air. Having access to the state-of-the-art building has also afforded me more exposure to events and opportunities. I've been able to perform in the new recital hall, and am excited to participate in the gospel choir, now that it has a space to return. The Timashev Family Music Building has fostered a strong sense of community and belonging, and it truly feels like "this is mine, this is ours." We want to protect it and build our home here now and in the future.
So much about my time here at Ohio State has been shaped by the support and resources I have received — which I know is true for many of my friends and classmates as well. I look forward to making the most of my senior year. I will update you in the spring as my time here wraps up and I embark on a new journey post-graduation.
Thank you for your generosity and commitment to current and future Buckeyes!
Music Education Major
Class of 2023
A note from School of Music director Michael Ibrahim
May 7, 2023
My time as a student at Ohio State is coming to a close as I prepare for student teaching in the fall. I’m excited to start a new chapter, but I’ve loved this one so much.
It’s been a wonderful, collaborative year in the Timashev Family Music Building. In particular, I had an incredible experience last semester in my Elementary Music Methods class. We had an assignment to teach our peers and we each developed a lesson plan, studied the score, practiced and refined, and delivered our ten-minute lessons. When I finished mine, the entire class started clapping. My professor, Daryl Kinney, told me, “CJ, they’re clapping because that was fantastic teaching.” It hit me in the heart — I felt ready, and I knew for sure this was for me; this was the path I was meant to take. It was my proudest moment to date.
What I’ve learned here goes far beyond my instrument. The most important thing is to be professional and well-rounded as a person. Be mindful, courteous and patient. People will be drawn toward you as an educator and a colleague when you are considerate and enthusiastic of others. The ability to see a person – whether a student or otherwise – for where they are currently, where they need to be, and help them define the steps they need to take to get there – these are the skills I have honed at Ohio State.
When I graduate, I will pursue a role as a public school teacher and I know the connections I’ve made at Ohio State will carry through into my career. If I could give new students a piece of advice, it would be to open yourself up to new connections and experiences. When I first arrived on campus, I was pretty shy. Being at Ohio State made my world so much bigger.
Having the chance to build friendships with people of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds has made me more empathetic to every individual I meet; I have made great friends here and they’ve helped shape who I am today.
I chose Ohio State in the fall of 2019 because it felt the most welcoming and my intuition was definitely right. The students and professors here create such a nurturing environment – we have one of the most well-rounded, interactive and enjoyable music programs in the country. I’ve had an incredible time making music with the people and professors around me.
Music Education Major
Class of 2023
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