FCC's Collegiate Chapter of the Music Teacher National Association named 2024 Chapter of the Year

Jessica Harrington Image
Tuesday, March 19, 2024
FCC's music teacher chapter named 2024 Chapter of the Year
Music students at Fresno City College are getting a head start on their teaching careers. Their hard work has earned them national recognition.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Music students at Fresno City College are getting a head start on their teaching careers.

Their hard work and dedication have now earned them national recognition.

Kevin Soto is in his final semester at Fresno City College.

A music for transfer student, he's currently auditioning at four-year universities to continue his education.

He's been able to keep himself afloat thanks to what he has learned at FCC.

"I met Dr. Brandon Bascom and he said 'Come join my piano teaching class so you can make some money.' and I was like, there's no way," Soto said.

He took a course on how to teach music and landed his first official teaching position.

"I started teaching at Steinway and realized I really like teaching," Soto said.

Soto credits FCC Piano Instructor Brandon Bascom for encouraging him to take the course and helping him land a job at the Steinway Piano Gallery of Fresno.

Bascom says teaching was important in his own life, and he knew it could have an impact on his students.

"It's really neat to see kids that didn't know that they could do this and see that they have something that they can share and that they can support themselves doing," Bascom said.

Bascom launched the Collegiate Chapter of Music Teachers National Association, or MTNA on FCC's campus to ensure students had the best resources and access to the latest trends.

Soto is now the chapter president.

The group has been able to study abroad and perform in places like Italy.

A total of 12 students have landed teaching jobs at Steinway to support themselves and launch their teaching careers.

They're giving back to their community by hosting weekly piano lessons to classified staff at FCC.

Bascom says that sort of work stands out to the MTNA.

"They look for an active chapter that's doing things and reaches out to their community," Bascom said.

The hard work and dedication paid off when FCC was named co-recipient with Indiana University as the 2024 MTNA Collegiate Chapter of the Year.

"Indiana University, those Big 10 schools, Michigan, Iowa, Indiana, we're doing the same thing at Fresno City College," Bascom said.

Soto says he was surprised by the recognition and the weight of the award hasn't quite sunk in.

"It is such a big award, and I don't think you understand how big of an award it is until you're there receiving it and seeing all the people there," Soto said.

They won't have to wait much longer to receive the award.

They will be formally recognized during a special ceremony Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia at the annual MTNA Conference.

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