By Fiona O’Toole
This school year, Aileen Razey has taken on the position of assistant professor of clarinet at KU. Her fresh teaching style is liked by many students and faculty members, according to some of her clarinet students.
Razey was hired by the KU music department just before the fall 2019 semester began and quickly had to uproot her life in Europe and relocate to Pennsylvania, all while planning for the 2019-20 school year.
“This all happened so fast…I had a week to find where I was going to live, move my stuff from my parents’ house, put together a syllabus for my clarinet students and my Intro to Music
students,” plus more, said Razey.
Razey’s biggest goal is to make her students the best person they can be. She said that they work a lot in their studio seminars on breathing techniques and mental toughness.
Razey stated that most of her students were music education majors, but in addition to making them great educators, she wants them to become great musicians.
“She has been such a nice addition to the program and the Music Department,” said sophomore music education major Ashley Fister, who is a student in Razey’s clarinet studio.
Razey also wants to implement an outreach program where her students go out into the community to share their talents.
Razey is also taking initiative to recruit the best musicians for the future of the department. In addition to possibly opening a clarinet clinic in the area, she has been visiting local high schools to give lessons and talk with students in efforts to recruit them.
Razey replaced Professor Soo Goh after he took a job at Appalachian State University. She has since been working to adjust her students to her new teaching style. Razey wanted to continue the work of her predecessor while implementing new strategies to make her students better musicians.
“I really wanted to know the environment of the studio so that it wouldn’t change too much when I came in,” says Razey.
Razey said that she has loved her experience so far at KU. She said the faculty is very supportive of any new ideas she wants to implement.
She was also very excited by the fact that KU offers degrees in music education, music performance and commercial music. She says that it is refreshing to see a university making efforts to keep up with the way that the music industry is changing.