Interview: Amanda Eider

1.What made you decide to come to Rutgers?

I was already familiar with the program because I had sat in on rehearsals with Bacoustics, the undergraduate bassoon ensemble, and I studied with one of the bassoon instructors here. I liked the fact that it felt like a music conservatory within the context of a larger research university, and I thought that there would be a lot of great opportunities here. I’m definitely happy with my decision!

2. What has your Rutgers experience been like so far (extra curriculars, favorite classes, etc.)?

I’ve played in the Rutgers Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Symphonic Band, and Bacoustics Undergraduate Bassoon Ensemble. I’m also a member of the Rutgers National Association for Music Education (NAfME), serving as senior representative this year. I also had the wonderful opportunity to be a First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) instructor, which involved designing and teaching my own accredited university course in the topical area of music. A few of my favorite classes have been Orchestration, Social Psychology, and Clinical Practice I. Orchestration was really fascinating for me because I had no prior experience in the area. I also find Social Psychology to be an incredibly interesting subject. Clinical Practice I involved student teaching two days a week. I taught 5th grade band and lessons, and I had a fantastic time.

3. What made you choose your instrument?

I always wanted to play piano, but I had to wait until 1st grade so my hands would be big enough to reach the keys. When we started band, I tested out flute, clarinet, and saxophone. Saxophone seemed like a good fit, and it was relatively easy to produce a sound. A year later, the band directors approached me, mentioned that the were looking for someone to play bassoon, and thought that I would be a good fit. I looked up what the instrument was and decided to give it a try. Bassoon has provided me with so many great opportunities.

4. What made you decide to join Mu Beta Psi?

I thought that Mu Beta Psi seemed like a great organization, but I never seriously considered joining until after I joined marching band this year. After having saxophone section dinner one night during Rush Week, I decided to go to DIY Craft Night because it was right next door. I figured I liked crafts and being social certainly couldn’t hurt. I had an awesome time meeting all the Brothers.

5. What has being in Mu Beta Psi been like for you?

It’s only my first semester in Mu Beta Psi, but it’s been really great so far. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been given the opportunity to get to know all the wonderful people in the organization. Everyone has been so kind, friendly, welcoming, and helpful. I was elected Historian/Webmaster at my first official meeting, and I can’t wait to see what other adventures being in Mu Beta Psi will bring.

6. Do you have a favorite memory in Mu Beta Psi?

My favorite memory in Mu Beta Psi is the Member-in-Training retreat. I had so much fun bonding with my fellow Members-in-Training, decorating our paddles, listening to music, and playing Guitar Hero. It was so nice to get to know each other better, and I really enjoyed the whole experience.

7. What do you like to do in your free time?

When I’m not playing music or listening to it, I like reading books, spending time in nature, kickboxing, baking, scrapbooking, and watching movies/TV shows.

8. Do you have any advice for anyone interested in joining Mu Beta Psi or looking to get more involved?

I’d say just take a chance and go for it! Even if you’re apprehensive, stop worrying about what could go wrong and focus on what could go right. I bet you’ll be so thankful that you got involved and tried something new. Plus, you’ll get to meet some pretty rad people and make some new memories.