Heart of the Center for the Arts

Emma Dettmann can play just about any instrument you give her. You will catch her plucking, writing or singing all day throughout her music classes. Her grasp of musical language is a continuing achievement.

Emma has been coined the “Heart of the Center for Arts” for good reason. Her engagement within the musical arts department makes clear her passion for musical creativity.

Emma is double majoring in vocal music education and instrumental music education. Once she graduates, she will be a versatile teacher in any school setting with both a choral and instrumental background.

Her fervor for music started young. From taking piano lessons for 15 years and playing alto saxophone for 10, Emma has continued to develop her craft. However, she wasn’t sure how to take her talents beyond a hobby.

It wasn’t until her older brother majored in music education when she realized she could continue this passion for a living.

“Seeing him pursue that reminded me that music was an option past a hobby,” she says. “I was torn for what I wanted to do for my future. It was something I wanted to try. I love music, I love teaching, so it seemed like the logical step to take. I feel more solidified the longer I am here.”

While she is well versed in the piano and the alto saxophone, Emma has learned how to play a variety of instruments like the viola, trumpet, clarinet and many others.

Throughout her time on campus, Emma has thrown her hands into every extracurricular program and ensemble offered in the department.

She teaches piano lessons to children in the F/M area through MSUM’s Community School for the Arts (CSA). She can teach her students the same love for piano that she learned growing up.

Emma is also the president of the National Association for Music Education (NAFME) chapter at MSUM. There’s even a subset group of the chapter where students get together to play instruments they’re not well trained in, just to remember the basics and have fun while doing it.

“MSUM has given me the space to create things,” she says. "Receiving a music scholarship has allowed me to pursue all these additional opportunities, to attend a conducting workshop and to focus on music-related jobs."

She loves the enthusiasm for music around the department. Students who aren’t music majors play in the ensembles for the creative outlet the space has to offer.

“I love the ability to connect with a lot of different types of people. MSUM is not a departmentalized college," she says “Sometimes I’ll sit next to someone with a completely different life path than me. You get to work towards a common goal with all types of people.”

Emma continues to push her talents through her classes. From composing to playing, she is able to strengthen herself in class and alone.

“There's a lot of differentiation between our classes. That has pushed me to become a better musician,” she says. “There’s also a lot of support from professors. If you want to do a solo project, they are more than willing to help.”

With a heart of song and an instrument in hand, Emma is excited for what the future holds.

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