Music-ed program makes sure students are hitting the right notes

Seton Hall’s music education program is small, allowing for a lot of individual attention for students striving to combine their devotion to music and teaching, while joining orchestrations and preparing for concerts such as the “Prayer for Peace” on Oct. 27.

“I’ve always wanted to be a teacher since I was a little kid,” said Jordan Green, a sophomore music education major. “I’ve also been doing music my whole life and I play many instruments. I decided to combine my two passions together after hearing advice from my choir teacher, Mr. John Hellyer, who told me I’d make a great music teacher.”

The recent Prayer for Peace concert allowed Jordan Green, a music education major, to perform at NJPAC and hone the skills he’s learned in the classroom.
Photo courtesy of Jordan Green

Green takes many private lessons, ranging from voice to instruments, including strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion.

“In addition I have many teacher preparation classes as well as theatre classes because I’m a double major,” he said.

There are also a number of ensembles such as choir, orchestra and jazz bands available for students to join to pursue their passion of performing.

Green plays second violin and is orchestra manager for the University Orchestra. He is also involved with many of the student run musical organizations on campus such as Gentlemen of the Hall, the Seton Strings and the musicals.

Steve Smith, a senior music education major studying jazz guitar, takes similar classes to Green including education courses and focusing on the different instrument families.

“In the future I will always be playing and performing music, and I hope to be teaching in a school,” Smith said.

Smith thrives off the personalized attention he gets because of the small program.
“Studying personally with Dr. Christiansen really changed a lot for me and he taught me a lot about being a fine musician,” he said. “Dr. Tramm’s conducting class was a huge eye opener for me and taught me quite a bit about conducting that has proven to be necessary in my placement.”

Green, who is tenor section leader of the university chorus and chamber choir, explained the hard work put into preparing for the “Prayer for Peace” concert, which celebrated classical music and composers dedicated to the message of peace.

“It took a lot of rehearsal and the Beethoven is an extremely hard piece, especially for college students,” he said. “However, once we put everything together with the orchestra and the professionals, we were amazed at how great it sounded and our hard work paid off.”

Green said practicing and performing in this concert helped with “attaining my goals, because some things in music cannot be learned in a classroom, but have to be experienced. This was a great learning experience for me because the Beethoven ninth symphony is something every singer should have experience singing, and NJ PAC is a once in a lifetime place to perform.”

Dr. Tramm, assistant professor, director of Choral Activities and conductor for Prayer for Peace, has taught in the music department for six years and has seen the program along with Green progressively grow.

“Jordan has a burning desire to learn and gain every experience that he can,” Tramm said. “His thirst for knowledge is very impressive and will prepare him well for a career of teaching and inspiring the next generations of music students. Students like Jordan are rare and it is my pleasure to watch him grow as an artist and a person.”

Christina Vitale can be reached at

Author: Christina McDonald-Vitale

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