Behind the Desk: Dr. Jose Garcia, Professor of Music

1. How long have you been teaching at Millersville University?

This is my third semester at Millersville University, so I’m just a sophomore. The best part of being so new is that I am getting to grow and learn right along with the freshmen class I came in with.

2. What classes do you teach at MU? And do you teach classes at other universities?

Primarily, I teach individual lessons in voice for music majors and minors. I am also teaching a First Year Seminar for Music Majors this semester which is a pilot program and have taught sections of class voice for music majors and non-music majors that helps students to explore and build their voices. Last semester was the first time I taught the non-music majors class voice section and it was a great success. Students from all musical backgrounds or none at all were encouraged to express themselves and their vocal interests through vocal technique and repertoire. Our final was a mini-concert of student performances in Biemesderfer concert hall with full sound and mics. I would really love to see this class grow and would encourage any students interested in finding their voice to register for the class.

3. Where did you go to school?

For undergraduate studies I was at the University of Texas at San Antonio. For graduate studies (Master and Doctorate) I attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI.

Dr. Jose Garcia is a third semester music professor, becoming adjusted to life at Millersville University.
Dr. Jose Garcia is a third semester music professor, becoming adjusted to life at Millersville University.

4. Have you always wanted to be a teacher?

I don’t think I ever planned on being a teacher but as I was going to school I quickly realized that it was something that I enjoyed and was good at. I guess what I’m saying is that I didn’t choose teaching as a profession it chose me.

5. What do you like most about being a teacher at MU?

The thing I like most about teaching at Millersville are the students I get to work with everyday. They really are great people and I enjoy getting to know them and share with them in their education. The music department at Millersville truly fosters a caring community where students and professors work closely together in the classroom and on the concert stage.

6. What are your hobbies or special interests?

I really enjoy cooking when I have the opportunity. Being of Mexican heritage, family and food are a big part of our culture. Since I’ve been away from home this last year I’ve made it a goal to learn to cook the traditional and special dishes my family would make in order to keep those recipes and traditions going.

7. Do you have any advice for students who are thinking about earning a degree in education?

My advice for students thinking about earning a degree in education would be to put it to the test. Volunteer to help out at a school or tutor or put yourself in a situation where you are in some kind of teacher role. You will quickly find out whether you will survive or thrive. Being an effective teacher is not something that you fall back on but is something that you are passionate about so make sure before you commit.

8. What teaching techniques do you utilize in the classroom?

As a teacher with a performance background I would say that the teaching techniques I use most in the classroom are humor and personality (showmanship). Teaching really is like a performance you have material that you want to get across to your audience and you want to make sure that in the end everyone has enjoyed them-self and takes something away from the experience.

9. Is there any advice or knowledge you would like to bestow upon the MU students and/or faculty?

The best piece of advice I could share with MU students is to enjoy every moment of your collegiate career. This is a special time for you to figure out the person that you are and who you want to become. It’s all about you! Soak up everything you can. Take advantage of every resource. Go to concerts, plays, musicals, sport events, seminars, and symposiums. Ask questions. Get to know your professors. Once you’re gone you’ll never get that time back.