Music is one of the only professions I know of in which students may receive training in their future careers from 5th or 6th grade and even younger. With that comes years of engrained self-discipline. Musicians have to be alone to practice and hone their skills for hours on end in order to identify their own weaknesses. They must dutifully and quietly sit through long rehearsals, concerts and competitions, enduring extreme heat or cold in which they execute their craft without complaint all the while. All of this ultimately leads to a career path which necessitates the welcome of criticism more than praise in order to improve. But, they/we do this and so much more with joy and passion, as the music and comradery stemming from such endeavors carves out a direct path to finding kindred spirits who are willing to dedicate themselves to this same rigor, and a lifetime of connecting with others through the art of music. Through such dedication and passion, best friendships are born.
Our university has bent over backwards in order to provide anything and everything requested for our students to be successful this past year due to COVID-19. It took months of preparation, thousands of dollars, and a strong belief by campus leaders and our dedicated faculty that our students and music on our campus, truly matters. In return, our students have reciprocated by displaying tremendous resolve, fortitude, and respect for the faculty, staff, and one another, knowing they are lucky to be together safely on our campus, and I have never been so proud of a group of young people! It all boils down to respecting the opportunity to continue with a quality education; the outstanding education provided by the UTM Department of Music.
Future students with this same level of self-discipline and innovation, who accept the challenge of committing to a rigorous program, but also live by the code of mutual respect for self and community, are who we seek. Those students who soar in the spirit of “we grow together” are welcome to join our UTM Music family and will undoubtedly be happy amidst our hallways and successful in our degrees. We are delighted to grow our music family and welcome future students, parents, and guardians to explore what we offer.
I’ve never been so proud to lead a department as I am today. Welcome to UTM Music – welcome home!
Julie Hill, DMA
Chair, Department of Music
Professor of Music
University of Tennessee at Martin
Past-President, International Percussive Arts Society
University of Tennessee System President's Inaugural Educate Award Winner
Cunningham Outstanding Scholar/Educator
Hardy Graham Distinguished Professorship
UT Alumni Association Outstanding Teacher