When he was in seventh grade, Michael Ivy‘s band director let him get up in entrance of the band and direct for the primary time. “I didn’t know what I used to be doing, however I cherished it,” mentioned Ivy, who will graduate from the College of Mississippi with a Bachelor of Music in Music Training this Might.
Presently student-teaching within the Hernando band program, Ivy nonetheless likes to direct a band. However in between that Seventh-grade second and in the present day, his path took a number of turns earlier than it led him to what he now sees as his objective.
The sixth of eight youngsters in his household, Michael can be the sixth of eight to observe in his mom’s footsteps and graduate from UM — his two youthful sisters are UM college students, too. Ivy tried a few totally different majors in his first yr at UM, however he saved returning to his love of music. “My father acknowledged I’d at all times had a ardour for music,” mentioned Ivy, who discovered trumpet from one brother and drums from one other.
His curiosity in choosing up new devices led him first to the trumpet after which the French horn earlier than falling for percussion. “I’ve at all times been devoted to working towards and I like taking over new devices. I discovered alone, then my band administrators refined what I knew.”
As soon as he settled into percussion, he knew he was residence. “The drumline is household. Brothers, sisters, cousins — they’re household,” he mentioned.
Upon becoming a member of the UM drum line as a bass drum participant, Ivy performed the quantity 6 drum, the next-to-largest. “The band requested for extra vitality, and it was thrilling — I saved placing increasingly more into it. Jeremy Roy was enjoying quantity 7,” the most important bass drum, “however when he graduated, I requested for bass 7, and it grew to become my favourite drum.”
Ivy says there’s an expectation for whoever performs no. 7 to carry additional vitality to the function, to get the group going. “I consider it began with a man named Marcus Guinn, who was super-enthusiastic,” mentioned Ivy. “I didn’t learn about him after I began, After I began, I used to be simply going for it.” As a son and grandson of preachers, displaying some spirit has by no means been an issue for Ivy.
“Then individuals mentioned I reminded them of Marcus Guinn and his unbelievable vitality. I used to be bringing my very own vitality to it; I didn’t know 7 had that expectation, however after I acquired into it and noticed how individuals responded, I acquired it. Now it’s a factor: who’s going to play 7?”
Percussion professor Ricky Burkhead mentioned that enthusiasm is one thing that defines Michael Ivy. “He’s probably the most energetic individual in metal band — he even choreographed strikes for the ensemble, which added extra leisure for the performers and for the viewers.”
Scholar-teaching has solely deepened the keenness for music that Ivy confirmed at UM Music. He is aware of what he needs the children to anticipate after they stroll within the door. “I would like them to know, at the start, that music is to be loved. We attempt for excellence, however we need to get pleasure from it, too.”
The 2 should not mutually unique, he mentioned. When his college students are targeted on him and all people is having enjoyable with the music, the vitality is correct for actual studying.
Ivy could have just one semester of formal classroom instructing beneath his belt, however he’s been instructing music for years. Whereas he was enjoying trumpet after which French horn in his highschool band, he was serving to his associates study drums and make the drumline. “My band director mentioned she wanted me on trumpet and horn, however when she retired after my junior yr, I lastly made the transfer to drums. I acquired voted drum captain, which was hilarious as a result of it was technically my first yr, besides that I’d been enjoying drums alone all alongside and serving to the others.”
As captain, Ivy stepped in the place wanted and ended up acting on all of the drums. “It actually helps me after I write drum music now, as a result of I’ve performed all of them, so I do know what I’m in search of from every drum.”
Throughout his 4 years at UM, Ivy taught drums on the Houston Excessive College summer season band clinic in Houston, MS. “If the band administrators aren’t drummers,” Ivy defined, “It’s typical to usher in a drum tech to show the drums their music and method.” He additionally labored with the drumline to create new cadences by writing music that was thrilling however simple sufficient for them to play. “Over the 4 years, they’ve constructed up a repertoire, and so they practiced extra and have become more adept.” Among the beats he wrote out have even change into vibrant elements of the Houston HS band custom.
“He’s a really versatile participant,” Burkhead mentioned of Ivy. “He performed conga within the UM Salsa Band — he’s equally gifted on all of the percussion devices.”
The coaching he obtained in UM’s Music Training program has turned him from solely a percussionist right into a well-rounded music educator. “In ‘strategies’ courses, we get to study different devices — along with those we specialise in — so we’ll know the right way to assist educate college students on these different devices. We hold detailed notebooks of what we study, like notes on appropriate flute embouchure, for instance. I’ve already referred to my notebooks so many instances!”
Performing in percussion and jazz ensembles at UM was one other nice expertise, Ivy mentioned. “You’re enjoying such a wide range of songs, the elements are so intricate, and there are solos to improvise. These experiences are priceless, and I’m taking all of that with me.”
One other factor he’s taking with him: an understanding of the distinction a trainer could make. “My professors inspired me rather a lot. They advised me about scholarships that helped me work out the right way to pay for school — so many individuals supported me.”
Ivy has stayed near his household — solely a brief drive away in Batesville — however is aware of he now has a second household at UM Music. “All of the band associates and music associates I’ve made, and the way a lot they’ve inspired me and motivated me: I’ll worth that for the remainder of my life.” Having shared experiences like enjoying on SEC Nation, touring collectively for soccer video games, enjoying at soccer and basketball video games, bonded the crew. “These are associates I’ll have endlessly, for a lifetime,” mentioned Ivy.
And searching forward, Ivy is aware of he’ll carry all his this into the classroom, as a result of instructing music and directing bands is, for him, a calling. “It took me some time to know it, however I really feel like I used to be made to do that.”