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Katelyn McKone '14

Success Through Teaching Music


It only required one visit to the Simpson campus to persuade Katelyn McKone where she wanted to go to college.

Katelyn, a saxophone player, noticed how welcomed she felt while on campus.

“One of the reasons I chose Simpson is because when I was here for my audition, one of the underclassmen talked to me and made me feel welcome,” she says. “College is pretty intimidating at first, but in the music department they make it a lot easier.”

Katelyn, whose hometown is Lisbon, Iowa, has never regretted choosing Simpson. She played in the Simpson Symphonic Band, Jazz Band and the Saxophone Quartet. She also served as the undergraduate assistant for the instrumental music department as she pursued a degree in music education.

“A person can teach, but they have to be able to perform, too,” she says. "They go together."

“Music has made a big difference in my life, so I think it can make a big difference in another person’s life, both through performance and teaching. When people learn how to play music, it can really shape their future.

“I want to be a teacher, but I also want to make sure I get in some playing as well.”

Katelyn said most of her friends in the Simpson music department have gotten jobs fresh out of college. She attributes part of the success to the connections that faculty members enjoy. Simpson’s great reputation also plays a part.

“I feel whatever resources I need, I’m going to get,” she says.

She compares the instrumental music environment at Simpson to a family. “The faculty help you with any questions you have and make you feel really welcome,” she says. “You’re also free to talk to anybody. It’s really professional, but it’s really open as well.”