For our second installment of the College of the Arts: Spotlight on New Faculty, we would like to introduce Melissa Grady. Melissa joined Valdosta State University as an Assistant Professor of Music and is the Coordinator of Music Education. Ms. Grady teaches General and Choral Music Curriculum, Student Teaching, and Student Teaching Seminar, as well as Introduction to Music Education and graduate classes including Foundations of Music Education and Issues and Trends in Music Education.
Ms. Grady told us she chose her field of study because she “loved teaching music in the public schools, but I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher of teachers. In my position I get to teach students the best job (in my humble opinion): teaching music”. She chose Valdosta State because she can teach “all her favorite classes.” She also enjoys working with her students on their way to being educators. She said the best students work hard and are caring; they also need “a great attitude and a willingness.”
Research is something that Ms. Grady really enjoys, with her focus being the art and science of teaching, or pedagogy, and how to make that more operative. “The majority of my research is in conducting gesture effects on choral singing and non-verbal behaviors of conductors. I also have a vein of research in musician’s health including hearing health and vocal health of choral and solo singers and classroom music teachers.”
Ms. Grady enjoys visiting her family in Kansas and Chicago, but likes South Georgia’s blooming trees. “I do miss snow,” she does confess. However, she enjoys walking through campus’ beautiful nature.
Join us in welcoming Ms. Grady to Valdosta State and say hello when you see her in the hallways of the Fine Arts building or just walking around campus!
Article by Peggy Harless and Sarah Cain