The administrative and professional team at Colorado Springs Conservatory is committed to providing excellent service to our students, families, and community. As a company, we are dedicated to ensuring that each employee has the opportunity to maintain and enhance their knowledge and skills. Administrative Training and Professional Development takes place throughout the year in an effort to keep our employee’s knowledge of trends and changes relevant and up to date, which in turn ultimately delivers benefits to the school, our employees, and their professions.
This month, we’d like to shine our spotlight on our Student Services Coordinator, Erin Joyner. As a five-year team member at the Conservatory, Erin’s dedication to our families and our mission is top notch, and we are delighted to share, with you, her experiences and insight into the world of Colorado Springs Conservatory.
Erin, where are you from?
I am from a military family, so we have been all over! My family and I landed in Colorado a couple of years ago, but before that, I did most of my schooling in Georgia.
Have you always been drawn to music and performance?
I was always drawn to music and performance – from R&B to Rock! Every year when I was little, my family and I would take road trips to see my grandparents. So, obviously, we had concerts in the car on the way there! I also have friends who are theater kids and performers, so I like to support them whenever I am able!
What are some of your hobbies and favorite things to do around Colorado Springs?
I love to camp and hike. Where I live, far out in Peyton, you can see all the stars on a clear night, and they’re so bright! Every summer, I like to make time and go to Pueblo Lake or Steamboat Springs to relax in nature and look up at the stars. When I am in town, I’ll go and hang out at Bell Brothers Brewery. My friend who works there makes their taps from scratch, so I go and “bother” them when I am in the area.
How did you start working with the Colorado Springs Conservatory, and how long have you been a team member?
A friend of mine used to work for the Colorado Springs Conservatory and recommended me for an interview way back in 2017. This will be my fifth year working at Conservatory, but it does not feel like it’s been that long. For a few years, I was strictly a front desk employee. During my second year at the Conservatory, I went in one day and thought to myself: ” … I am changing my major.”
So I stopped with psych, switched to music, and when Linda Weiss found out I switched degree paths, she gently “volun-told” me to work with the littles. (*wink)
I pushed back for a couple of years before another coworker asked me to help out. All it took was working with one class, and that was all she wrote!
Congrats on your recent promotion to Student Service Coordinator! What is your favorite part of your new role as Coordinator?
I am never bored when I come in; this job is a giant 3D puzzle constantly shifting, moving, and spinning!
What is your favorite part about being a team member at the Conservatory?
I am surrounded by so much talent! From mentors to little children, everyone who walks in is bursting with passion and drive; I love it! Before playing Jazz Nites at Epiphany in Downtown Colorado Springs, the Conservatory would host Jazz Nites on-site, so I would hear the student band play in the loft upstairs and be blown away by how seriously those kid-performers took their jobs.
You get to see and hear many practices and performances by students and mentors… What are some of your favorite classes to drop in on?
I am partial to those 0-7 year-old classes and programs since I have watched some of the kids start off in Piccolo (0-3), grow out of Novice (6-7), and move into the Bridge-to-Core program. Watching those kids grow up is always a bitter-sweet moment; those kiddos should stay small forever!
Do you personally come from a musical/performance background?
I used to play the French horn in my middle and high school band. I even played a couple of honor band concerts, and it was always exciting to play with other people. I had to take a step back from playing and focus my time on school and work, while in college. I miss playing with a group sometimes; maybe I will join a volunteer band if I have the time!
In what ways has being a part of the Conservatory enriched your life?
I get to see the Conservatory work in real-time, and it’s a magical experience. Some kids will come in either extremely shy, upset, or sometimes haughty, and they have an expectation that this is just another place for their parents to drop them off. By the end of the semester, they grow into their own person. Our shy kids might find out that they love theater, or perhaps realize they don’t have to pursue the limelight, but can mix songs “behind the scenes.” Kids who don’t naturally want to be here sometimes discover that they have a talent for rhythm or music notations. And sometimes, we get kids who do not have a heart for music/theater, and that’s okay because they’re often glad that they just have a place to support them when it feels like no one is in their corner. This place has the opportunity to change kids into better humans; our mentors and admin can see it.
Do you believe music and performance education are important?
ABSOLUTELY, 1000%! Do you know how hard it is to teach a kid non-corporeal things like emotions, rules, or keeping time? You don’t just play songs to hear noise (for the most part); you breathe life into them by changing the sound so you can get your point across without verbally saying it! You don’t read scripts just to read words; you read scripts to become a completely different person! And there are rules and directions you have to follow, like, “When you’re on stage, you have to be quiet!” or “Don’t play too fast; that song won’t sound right!” or “You have to say your line with force; no one will believe your character if you are soft-spoken!”
Musical and performance education teaches structure and consistency while, in the same vein, teaches students how to be flexible and accept things as they are. It also teaches them how to take constructive criticism without getting upset. My point is that kids who are allowed to explore the performing arts can often become better adults. That isn’t to say it’s a cure-all for all of our world’s problems, but it at least opens children’s eyes to more experiences.
Erin’s Road Trip Playlist (8-10 songs):
I love music so this was very hard!
- Shepherd of Fire – Avenge Sevenfold
- Friction – Imagine Dragons
- River of Happiness – Dolly Parton
- Off the Wall – Michael Jackson
- Leviathan – Volbeats
- I’m Still Standing – Elton John
- Fade In/ Fade Out – Nothing More
- Evergreen – Yebba
- Hold on to Memories – Distrubed
- Watch You Burn – Disturbed