Hobin sings praises of music department


by Andy Goodell

Senior music education major Grant Hobin appreciates all that the music department has done for him.

“The level of professionalism and sheer amount of music you get to do is what I enjoy most,” Hobin said.

Before moving to Ankeny from Castro Valley, Calif., Hobin didn’t have an opportunity to study in a professional music department like Simpson.

“I’m really thankful to live in Iowa because it’s a very musical state,” Hobin said.

Hobin’s interest in music was sparked in high school. At that time, Hobin did not expect to devote so much of his time to music later in life.

“I sort of fell into choir and discovered I was good at music,” Hobin said.

Throughout his collegiate career, Hobin participated in productions of Carousel, The Crucible and The Magic Flute. Hobin sang for the choir and is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.

In his years at Simpson, Hobin said he’s enjoyed working with several Music Department faculty members.

Instructor of Music Tim McMillin is someone Hobin admires because of his positive attitude and musical ability.

“He’s helpful and a nice guy as well as a high-level musician,” Hobin said.

The admiration is mutual between McMillan and Hobin.

“Grant is a motivated and hard working musician,” McMillin said. “His humor, good-natured approach to all things and desire to succeed position him to be a success in life [and] in this field.”

The key to being a good music instructor is the ability to help students learn about themselves, according to Hobin. He said Instructor of Voice Anne Larson has done this.

“She’s taught me a lot about my voice,” Hobin said.

Professor of Music Robert Larsen’s Medieval and Renaissance music course also played a role in Hobin’s education.

“He has lit my interest in Renaissance music [which] I think will be a life-long interest for me,” Hobin said.

The music of medieval Europe is some of Hobin’s favorite because of its cultural significance.

“During that time, it was not easy to live and death was everywhere,” Hobin said. “The people who created it were good at getting in touch with spirituality and living life.”

One particularly good composer according to Hobin is Ralph Von Williams.

“His music has a subtle beauty that doesn’t call attention to itself,” Hobin said.

Nowadays Hobin is including the music of elementary and middle school students as part of his education.

His first experience with student teaching was with elementary students at Greenwood. After switching to a middle school in Waukee, Hobin found his proper place in the teaching world.

“I thought I would be all about elementary music education,” Hobin said. “I enjoy middle school more because I’m teaching kids at a transitional time in their lives.”

Student teaching is merely the first step toward the career Hobin has planned after graduation.

“The plan right now is to get a legit teaching job and to also do some summer stock musical theater,” Hobin said. “I want to do some semi-pro work during the school year too.”