C-SC graduates receive “Lessons from a Musician” during commencement
Saturday, May 15, 2010
CANTON, Mo. – Culver-Stockton College commencement speaker, Dr. R. Joseph Dieker, out-going vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, gave graduating seniors eight life lessons, in his commencement address titled “Lessons from a Musician.”
Dieker, a talented clarinetist and conductor, taught music for 24 years before becoming the dean of C-SC. He offered the graduates what he called “mini-lessons” as they move forward in their future endeavors.
First, Dieker told the students that “a musician has to have a love of music and some musical talent,” after which he told them to follow what they love and what gives them the most satisfaction, not what pays them the most. Secondly, he told students to find a mentor.
“Find the masters at your craft—hang out with them, pick their brain, listen to their critiques of your performances,” said Dieker. “Successful people don’t go it alone.”
His third mini-lesson was invest in your success. Dieker told students a story about how he had to work hard in high school to save up enough money to buy a top-of-the-line clarinet because he knew it was important for him to invest in what he loved.
“A musician must be able to make wonderful music with other musicians,” Dieker said. “Whether that may be in a chamber group, a rock band, or a symphony orchestra.” Which lead him to his fourth lesson of you must be able to work with others.
“Effective collaboration with your colleagues will be essential to your success,” he added.
For his fifth lesson, Dieker urged students to be in touch with “the theoretical, historical, as well as the hands-on practical elements of your field.” He stressed the importance of knowing these elements in order to be successful.
After noting the importance of knowing the history of your field, Dieker also told students the importance of being prepared to constantly learn new things. For his sixth lesson, he said, “My musical life would have been quite boring if I simply performed the same few pieces over and over. Fortunately, there is more wonderful music written than I can ever possibly perform in my lifetime, but I am going to try to learn as much of it as I can.”
As a seventh lesson, he told students something that they have probably heard several times throughout their lives and that was to practice, practice, practice.
“Think about the hours of work that it will take to perfect your craft,” Dieker said. “There is no success without hard and consistent work.”
Diekers final mini-lesson for the C-SC graduating class of 2010 was that whatever field the student is going into, that they must be able to perform.
“Great performances are the byproducts of all of the things that I have mentioned so far… How are you going to perform in your field—whether it be in the corporate board room, in a trial courtroom, on a playing field, in a classroom, or on the theatrical stage,” he said.
The eight lessons from a musician: Find your talent and love, learn from good teachers and mentors, invest in your success, collaborate well with others, know the theory and history of your field, be a lifelong learner, practice—practice—practice, and give a great performance.
The Culver-Stockton College graduating class of 2010, were also addressed by fellow graduate, Neil Gau, who delivered the student challenge. Gau is the son of William and Debra Gau of Irondale, Mo. He received a bachelors of science degree in accounting and finance. During the recent C-SC Honors Day Celebration, Gau received the Phi Eta Sigma Book Award as a senior with the highest grade point average over four years. He also received the J. David Bursewicz Senior Scholarship Award and the Wieseman Award for Outstanding Research Report or Writing Project in recognition of his academic Achievements. Gau has been active in the C-SC Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) student chapter and has also participated in “Up ’til Dawn.” Gau says some of his most cherished memories at C-SC are the experiences he had during the study abroad courses to China and the British Isles.
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