Emily Dunlap: The UMaine music education experience

Emily Dunlap from Old Town, Maine is a rising fourth-year music education major with an instrumental concentration. She is also in the Honors College. Dunlap has received the Thomas E. Lynch Honors Fellowship, been recognized as a James S. Stevens Outstanding Junior and is an alumni member of the 2021 Macy’s Great American Alumni Marching Band. Apart from academics, she is involved in a wide variety of extracurriculars, including UMaine UVote and the National Association for Music Educators Collegiate Chapter. In fall 2020, she was a part of an externship program with her former middle school where she taught free, online Zoom lessons — an experience she said made her realize the level she wanted to teach in her future. After graduation, Dunlap plans to either apply for a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in musicology or start her teaching career. 

Why did you choose to come to UMaine?
I chose to come to UMaine because it has been with me all my life growing up in Old Town. Both of my parents are alumni of the university, and they have a wonderful and supportive group of professors and colleagues in the School of Performing Arts.

What difference has UMaine made in your life and how has it helped you to reach your goals?
UMaine has helped me grow not only as a person, but also as a leader in my own community. My professors and colleagues have shown a level of support I have not seen anywhere else, and it makes attending the University of Maine all that much more worthwhile. If I did not have this kind of support, I do not know if I would be where I am today.

Has there been any particular initiative, program or set of resources that has helped you succeed at UMaine?
For me, a program that has helped me succeed here at UMaine has been the Honors College. The program has helped me see myself in a different light, as well as being curious of the world around me and how I can apply those curiosities toward my career in music.

Have you worked with a professor or mentor who made your UMaine experience better? 
When I think of a professor who made my UMaine experience better, the first person that comes to mind is my clarinet professor and thesis adviser, Beth Wiemann. Not only has she helped me improve greatly at my clarinet craft, she also sets a high bar when it comes to being organized and on top of my work. 

Do you have any advice for incoming students to help them get off to the best start academically?
I have many pieces of advice I could put in here, but the most important one I can think of is this: do not hesitate to reach out to your professors or colleagues if you ever need help (even if it is not academic)! I was blessed to have such amazing support in all facets in the School of Performing Arts.

Contact: Hope Carroll, hope.carroll@maine.edu