Name – Joyce Chiao Su Wang
Hometown – Belize
Degree Program – Doctoral in Musical Arts (Piano) – 2nd year in Program
Dream Job – Piano professor or higher education administrator at the college level, specifically in School of Music
Why did you come to WVU? This is a very teaching-based school. I love how students are mentored and given endless opportunities on and off campus. It has a great support system and, as a result, it has a good program reputation.
What do you like best about WVU? I like the fact that we can all network together and work toward a common goal, which we so when we strive for academic achievement. I also sense a great deal of family-like community.
How did your foundations classes prepare you for your major? My foundation classes are effective, hands on (teaching), and yet demanding. These classes give me different levels of challenge and prepare me to face some of the biggest challenges that a full-time or a professional would have.
Did you find that you ended up enjoying a class at the CAC that you didn’t think you would? Yes, I took a theater elective course just because the class is right here at the CAC. As a music major, a theater course is just an elective, but I actually enjoyed the course very much, especially because of how much these two fields are related. I have such an easy time with the course by having a music background.
What has been your favorite experience at the CAC? My favorite experience at the CAC is the time when I was part of the WVU Symphony Orchestra. My major is piano, but I had the privilege to play the cello and to be part of the large ensemble.
Describe some opportunities where you have gotten to exhibit your own work or talent that you’ve gotten while studying at the CAC. I was able to perform several solo, chamber recitals here at the CAC as well as with the large ensembles like WVU Symphony Orchestra and WVU Wind Symphony
Who is your favorite professor and why? Dr. Christine Kefferstan, professor of piano. She has been the biggest supporter, mentor and a brilliant artist that I am truly blessed to have. She is there for me, not just for the artistic growth and the musical insight, but I learn so much about myself through her, about balancing life and this competitive world that we face as performance artists. I hope everyone gets an opportunity to have someone like her in their life.
Are there times when you’ve gotten the chance to learn from visiting artists/workshops or experts in your field of study? Yes, I had master classes with several piano guest artists like Barbara Nissman, Laura Melton and Yee Ha Chiu.
Has there been a time where you’ve felt that your work while at the CAC has become a vehicle for bettering the community? I have been actively involved with the WVU Community Music Program for the past four years, where I serve as a piano instructor, teaching one-on-one piano lessons. The students range from four to forty years old and this allows me to get to know more about the Morgantown community.
Have you been inspired to help others or bring awareness to a social or economical issue through your art or what you’ve learned in your studies? I was able to shadow a local string teacher during my student teaching semester. During this experience, I encountered many situations where students were not able to participate in music programs due to funding cuts and little financial support from the parents, the school, the state or the government. This gave me a chance to see what I will face in the future and that this will continue to be part of the challenges.
Would you recommend your major to an incoming student? Yes, we have such a strong piano/keyboard area here at WVU. The professors provide guidance with their best abilities and also allow you to explore your interests. Piano is a versatile instrument in terms of performance opportunities. The instructors are extremely supportive, and I highly recommend any student to join the program.