100% Job Placement for 2013-14 Music Education Graduates


Professors Cathy Benedict and Patrick Schmidt are proud to announce that all 2013 – 2014 music education graduates have successfully secured work placements in their field.  These graduates now represent FIU School of Music across the nation and globe, teaching students from pre-kindergarten through college.

Benedict suggests this accomplishment comes about by focusing “all our efforts toward fostering graduates who see themselves as leaders committed to act in critical and innovative ways.” Schmidt notes that “the strong collaboration the School of Music and the Music Education program have developed particularly with the Miami Dade Public School district has been essential in providing hands-on experiences and trust in the quality of the education provided at FIU.”

Elizabeth Urquiola, now in her first year of teaching at RAMZ Academy, reflects on her time at FIU and how her studies are now helping her create an effective classroom atmosphere:  

“With the experience and resources that I obtained from the FIU Music Education program, I feel well prepared for my first year of teaching. I was taught to consistently make music with the students throughout the lesson, and exactly how to do it. When I tried this approach in my classroom I was able to engage the students throughout the entire lesson and “classroom management” became easy. So far, all my lessons have been composed with songs that I learned during my time at FIU, and the students absolutely love them! Thank you to the FIU Music Education Program for making my first few weeks of teaching easy, fun, and rewarding. “

Ari Nemser, who graduated in 2014 with an MS in Music Education, is now working as a curriculum specialist in the office of the arts supervisor for Miami Dade Public Schools, Bryan Petorak.  He says the following of his experience as a graduate music education student at FIU:

“My experience at FIU as a graduate student opened many doorways for me. I really enjoyed how the program was designed, allowing me to customize how I spent my time and studies. The core graduate curriculum for music education provided a well-balanced offering of classes, introducing me to significant literature in the field on topics such as curriculum and learning, the opportunity to develop my own research, and a constant emphasis on thinking critically about my role as a music educator. In addition, I spent equally as much time fine tuning my trumpet playing, my conducting skills, my jazz knowledge, and my overall abilities to teach instrumental music, specifically band. All of my professors provided support as needed and continued that support after my degree completion as they assisted with my job search. As a Curriculum Support Specialist, I work on various projects and research aimed at improving the district’s programs, in particular the implementation and development of band programs.”

Testaments like these validate the dedication of both FIU music education students and the faculty who support them along the way.

The Music Education Program is fully certified by the Florida State Department of Education and nationally accredited by the National Association of the Schools of Music (NASM) and the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education.

Music education students accepted into this program join a world-class school of music and receive an outstanding education where they will be able to develop and practice their musical abilities in addition to their pedagogical skills.  Most significantly, the Music Education Program is committed to the mission of graduating educators who are responsible, reflexive, ethical, creative, and dedicated to their communities.


Congratulations to the following graduates on their success! 


Undergraduate Music Education Alumni:

Jina Park – Fernwood Elementary (Seatle)

Genesis Zambrano – Pine Crest Preparatory Academy

Giancarlo Rojas – Montessori school in North Miami

Carlos Hernandez – Middle School Charter in Pembroke Pines

Elizabeth Urquiola –  RAMZ Academy

Mashell Leroy – Bethune Elementary School of the Arts (Broward)

Juancarlos Rivero – Miami Dade Schools

Ana Rivero – Bridge Prep Academy


Graduate Music Education Alumni:

Trena Anderson – Starlight Cove Elementary (Palm Beach)

Kristine Musgrove – Mountain Ridge Middle School (Maryland)

Ari Nemser – Miami Dade Arts Supervisor District Office; Curriculum Specialist

Jacobo Nitsch – Assistant Professor, Universidad del Valle (Guatemala)

David Rodriguez – Miami Dade College


For more information on the Music Education Program, click here. 

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