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Serving Through Teaching: Dr. Charlotte Hester

At the start of the fall semester, Blue Mountain Christian University was pleased to welcome Dr. Charlotte Hester, Associate Professor of Music, to the staff of the BMCU music department. Dr. Hester “earned a Bachelor of Music in piano performance as a young adult from University of Montevallo in Alabama and returned to university when [her] children went to college.”  At that time she continued her education by “[earning] a master’s degree and doctorate in music education at University of Mississippi.”


Dr. Hester notes that she “fell into teaching,” saying, “as an undergraduate I did not anticipate teaching at all… musicians are teachers. Their task is to lead performers, whether singers or instrumentalists, toward a finer level of musicianship... I did not understand this as a twenty-year old. Thankfully, God knew, and he provided an opportunity for me.” Dr. Hester notes that her first job in education was as an elementary music teacher at the school her children attended, saying, “It was so much fun, and I found that I enjoyed teaching very much and was pretty good at it. So, thirty years later, teaching has become my life.  It's not just what I do but what I love.”


This love for teaching is obvious in the ways that she approaches helping her students reach their potential. She says her “greatest joy is the ‘lightbulb’ moment,” when a student discovers a new idea or ability. She’s had plenty of opportunities to facilitate such moments in the many different classes that she has taught, including “music history, music appreciation, music theory, applied piano lessons, elementary and secondary music methods, and piano pedagogy at the undergraduate level as well as master's and doctoral students in music education.”


As a Christian educator, Dr. Hester emphasizes the importance of being a witness to students at every opportunity. “I believe that music teaching is ministry.  As teachers we have been called to serve, to be the hands and feet of Jesus wherever we serve.  We are missionaries and music is the avenue to serve the cause of Christ… each setting is valuable and an opportunity to share Christ through music.”


When considering why she chose to work at Blue Mountain Christian University, Dr. Hester says one reason is the level of excellence she experienced from teachers she worked with who received their training at BMCU. “When I taught in the K-12 setting, I frequently worked with educators trained at BMCU.  They were fantastic teachers!  So, when I had the opportunity to teach here, the decision was very easy, and it has not disappointed.”


Dr. Hester is an invaluable part of the music department’s faculty who are continually working to raise up the next generation of musicians and church leaders. When looking to her future at BMCU, she says, “My overarching goals are to do my best and to make a difference… it continues to be a privilege to walk alongside the leadership, faculty, and student body as we move forward into the future.”


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