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Featured Student: Ben Walden

Ben WaldenExpected graduation date: May 2020

Degree objective: Music Education

Instrument: Clarinet

University highlights, achievements and awards: Recipient of President’s Scholarship (2016), Dean’s List 2016–2017, ISU Marching Sycamores Outstanding Underclassmen Musician (2016), Sycamore Bands “Most Promising” Award (2017), ISU Marching Sycamores Assistant Clarinet Section Leader (2017), Pi Kappa Lambda Honor Certificate Recipient (2018), Paul W. Hagan Concerto/Aria Competition Winner (2018)

High School: Evansville Central High School

Hometown: Evansville, IN

Family ties to ISU: Angela Lindsey (Mom) and Scott Walden (Dad), Class of 1989

I chose to attend ISU because… I felt comfortable with Indiana State as an education school and I wanted to study with Professor Kelley Niiyama. ISU was always on my radar because of my parents and its proximity to home, but after a few visits I felt like I could excel in education at a school with a deep-rooted tradition in it. After coming to a Music Career Day and having a lesson with Professor Niiyama, I felt as though the faculty could match my musical learning style and offer me opportunities through study that I could not get at other schools.

When I have free time, I like… To watch movies and TV shows, take trips to natural areas and museums, and go out for dessert!

My favorite places on campus to study are… In my dorm with some rain sounds to block out the noise.

My favorite professor is… Dr. Rohde for his strict anti-fun laws in Symphony Orchestra.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with… My dog, Shadow

If I knew I could not fail, I would… Get 9–10 hours of sleep a night

After graduation, I plan to… Go back to the Evansville area and teach music!

The one ISU experience I will always remember is/will be… Attending all of the CMF events and getting to hear from living composers

If I knew then what I know now, I would… Take more professional development opportunities and attend more music education type events.

If I could serve as a mentor for future ISU music students, I would tell them/suggest that they… Start analyzing their degree map early and take control of their own schedules. Especially when it comes to the decision between adding extra semesters, looking for additional opportunities, or taking summer classes.