Major Monday – Music with a minor in Theological Studies

Today’s Major Monday introduces you to Mr. Koopman.  He is a member of the theology department, teaches Music Seminar and A Capella, and is our campus minister.

1. What was your college major and where did you go to college?

I received a BA in Music (with an emphasis in vocal performance) and minored in Theological Studies from Hanover College in Madison, IN. I then went on to study for my MA in Theology at Ave Maria University in Ave Maria, FL. Finally, I just finished my Med in Secondary Education at Providence College in Providence, RI.

Harkins Hall - Providence College

Harkins Hall – Providence College

2. Was this your original major?  If not, what was your original major and why did you switch?                              

Music was my original major. My dad sat me down the summer before my senior year of high school and asked me what I would study if money was not the number one concern. Without hesitation, I said music performance. Knowing that I wanted to major in music played a large (but not decisive) role in my college decision. At the end of my undergraduate studies, however, I found myself at a crossroad, either pursuing music or pursuing theology, and I ultimately chose theology.

3. What made you choose your major?

I chose music because I loved music, especially singing! I wanted to know more about it: how to perform it well, what it was composed of, the historical aspects, and so on. I still love music, but I realized toward the end of college that, while I loved music, I did not want to dedicate my life to performing music. Through my studies, I had discovered an intense desire to study theology and to share it with others (to teach, I suppose you would say), which is why I sought the advanced degrees.

4. What were your favorite college classes?

I always enjoyed my music performance classes most, from our Chamber Singers to my weekly vocal lessons. As I moved along in my college career, I also discovered a passion I had not known before in my theology classes. In fact, to be quite frank, I would often neglect my music work (not the performance aspect, but the real academic work, such as my Music History courses), in order to read more materials for my theology classes. Even today, while I enjoy performing music, I enjoy studying theology.

5. What advise do you have for students who are looking to study your major?
Here is the advice I would give a student looking to study anything: Study what you love so you can do what you love! For those looking to study music specifically (or any of the performing arts), ultimately you have to decide what is worth more to you: finding a “comfortable” job or pursuing your life’s passion. What do I mean by that? No one can promise you that a life in the performing arts will be easy. It’s not that you can’t make a lot of money in the performing arts, but, at the end of the day, if you’re never “discovered,” you have to be satisfied with performing for people and to be satisfied with what you have as a result of that, both materially and non-materially. If you believe that you have been created to perform, why would you pursue anything less? The reason I chose not to pursue vocal music performance was closely related to that very question. While I loved to perform (and still love to perform when I have the opportunity), I discerned that performing was not what I had been created and called to do (though teaching sometimes feels like performing).
Thank you, Mr. Koopman for sharing your college journey with us!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s