ArtistCorps Alumni Stories: Jordan Loveland
Jordan Loveland served in ArtistCorps in year 1, and is now using her skills as an artist and educator in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas. We caught up with her via email to see what she's been up to since leaving ArtistCorps.
1. What made you decide to serve in ArtistCorps?
I decided to serve in ArtistCorps because I have always enjoyed working with children, and I have always felt that teaching music was my calling. I had moved to North Carolina from Texas, where I had just finished my music education degree, and was looking for ways I could get involved in teaching while I worked on my master’s degree in double bass performance. When I learned about ArtistCorps through Rebecca Nussbaum, I quickly jumped on the opportunity; it sounded like a great way to share my passion and love for music with children in the community.
2. Tell us about a moment from your service that really stands out to you.
I remember in my last year of ArtistCorps, we started a project called “Morning Music”. At first, the aim was to get as many volunteers as we could from the school of music at UNCSA to come play solos and/or ensembles before school at Diggs-Latham Elementary as the elementary school students were arriving. We had several soloists and chamber groups performing throughout the school; in the hallways, in the gym where students waiting for their teachers, and in the cafeteria as students ate their breakfast. It was a beautiful thing to watch the students so engaged by the performers, especially because many of them expressed that they had never heard classical music, let alone seen some of the instruments that were performed on. One little girl commented that she “wished every morning could be filled with beautiful music." Eventually, the Diggs-Latham students who were taking private lessons with ArtistCorps members began performing in the mornings as well. To see the happiness and satisfaction these students got from performing in front of their peers, parents, and teachers was very special.
3. How did that moment shape your perception of service?
This was the first time that I really felt connected with the community; to share my passion for music not only with the students I was teaching, but also with their families and the Winston-Salem community was a wonderful feeling and gave me a sense of purpose.
4. What was your biggest takeaway from serving in ArtistCorps?
I think my biggest takeaway from serving in ArtistCorps was learning how to connect and build relationships with individual students I worked with at Diggs-Latham Elementary, and the deep importance of maintaining them. Everything that takes place in a school is built on relationships and how they are nurtured. Having that one-on-one connection with a student is a critical step before introducing content. It is important to know that every student you will teach will not come from a wealthy family, or may have struggles they deal with at home. These kids need positive role models and positive teachers in their life. The more you can relate to and build rapport with students, the better the environment for them will be.
5. How has ArtistCorps influenced your life and work since you left service?
My time serving in ArtistCorps has contributed to my growth as a public school teacher. Before ArtistCorps, I had experience through private teaching and other music organizations. Serving 3 to 4 days per week in a Title I public school classroom gave me a deeper knowledge of the world of public school teaching and has influenced my work as a public school teacher today. Not only did I receive great training and experience as a member, I learned how to work and collaborate with many different people, students, parents, cooperating teachers at Diggs-Latham Elementary, and my fellow ArtistCorps members.
6. What are you up to now?
I am currently in my 3rd year of public school teaching. I serve as the Assistant Director of Orchestras at Douglas MacArthur High School, in San Antonio, Texas, which happens to be my hometown and alma mater.