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Forester News

A Forester you should know: Jamie Pineda ’20

Music enthusiast Jamie Pineda ’20 is flourishing as a student-teacher at Lane Tech College Prep High School as she continues to add to her multifaceted music education skills.

This double major in music education and education is a Forester you should know:

Q: How has Lake Forest College prepared you for student teaching?

A: “Lake Forest College has given me many opportunities to grow throughout my time as a student here. The support and guidance from my professors has helped me gain the confidence to be the music teacher that I am today. Through the music education and education programs, I have been able to observe and teach in many schools in the surrounding suburbs. Even though I’m primarily a violin player, I’ve observed other types of music classes, such as choir and beginning band. This breadth has definitely benefited my student teaching experience. I am currently working with two ukulele and songwriting classes, a music for diverse learners class, and a hip hop class on top of intermediate orchestra. I’m thankful that I was equipped with the skills to teach a variety of music classes.”

Q: What is the value of music education for today’s youth?

A: “Music is a valuable experience for students. It allows them to connect with their peers, whether it be through playing instruments or discussing real-life themes found in the lyrics of their favorite songs. Music is something that all students can relate to, so it is important to offer music education to today’s youth.”

Q: When did you first become interested in teaching? 

A: “For as long as I can remember, music has been my favorite subject in school. When I was younger, I always found it so fascinating that my music teacher knew so many songs. She would play all of these songs on the piano, and we would sing along. Taking private piano and violin lessons introduced me to a new way of making music, and those skills made it possible for me to participate in string orchestra and jazz band in high school. I was able to learn and create music while also forming close bonds with other people in the music program. I always admired my teachers not only for their musical ability but also for their passion for music and their students.”

Q: Did you know from the beginning that you wanted to teach music?

A: “I always knew that I wanted to stay involved in music, but I was not always sure how that would take form. I came to Lake Forest College with the intent of majoring in biology with a minor in music. Deep down, however, I knew I couldn’t part ways with my music side, so I decided to switch over to music education. I was inspired by my past music teachers, so I knew I would be happy teaching music as a career.” 

Q: What do you love about teaching music?

A: “Music has been a huge part of my life. I believe that music is such a powerful thing that can connect many people. One of my favorite things about teaching music is seeing growth in my students. A lot of the time I have students who don’t see potential in themselves, so the moment a student realizes they understand something is so rewarding as a teacher. I’m honored to be one of the people who helps guide students in their learning journey.”

Q: Why did you choose Lake Forest College?

A: “I knew Lake Forest College was the place for me the day I took my campus tour. Even as a prospective student, I felt a sense of community at Lake Forest College. Its small size definitely caught my eye, and I was intrigued by the opportunity to interact with professors at a closer level than is possible at a bigger school. I am so grateful that I’ve had such supportive professors who have helped shape me into the teacher I am today.”

Q: What is the most valuable thing Lake Forest College has taught you?

A: “Lake Forest College taught me to have the courage to explore what else is out there, even if it’s not in my comfort zone. You never know how much those experiences can change your life.”

—Katy Knuckles ’21