When we arrived at a haunted house in October 2016, Bailey Haseman fell into the backseat and cried. When she arrived in music class in fifth grade and played the clarinet, Bailey fell in love.
“It was the only instrument I could make sound come out of,” Bailey said. She laughed, filling the newly-renovated Siverson Lounge with her voice.
But that decision decided the rest.
Now in her third year at Augustana University, Bailey still plays the clarinet (and can make sound come out of other instruments). She teaches clarinet lessons once a week at Schmitt Music and receives weekly lessons from her role model, Christopher Hill, the principal clarinetist for the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra.
“He is such a down-to-earth guy,” Bailey said. She paused to sip her white chocolate mocha. “He is really good at taking your strengths and playing those against you [and] also playing off your weaknesses, but not in a way to make you feel like you’re not good enough.”
Bailey credits Augustana’s music department for her connection to Hill. Augustana has a great music program that brings in outside performers, like Hill, to teach student lessons, she said.
Through an Augustana music professor, Bailey also connected to John Laughlin, head band director at Memorial Middle School. Bailey volunteers at MMS twice a week. She works with 400 band students in sixth through eighth grade.
Bailey’s volunteering assures her that she’s on the right path. She is a music education and all-grades education major and will graduate in the spring of 2021.
“Music is such a great artistic outlet,” Bailey said. She took a drink of mocha. “It gives you a way to express how you’re feeling without having to find the right words. I wanted to be able to share that with other people.”
And Bailey will able to share her passion easily, loving all music from Metallica to Mozart.
When she’s not at class in the Fryxell Humanities Center, Bailey spends her time working at the Campus Learning Center and Dairy Queen, attending weekly practice for the Augustana Blue and Gold band or watching TV at the apartment she shares with her boyfriend, Daniel.
Despite her busy schedule and the levels of stress it sometimes causes, Bailey knows she’s on the right path.
“It’s a really tough major. It’s not for the weak,” Bailey said. She sipped her mocha. “But in the end, it’s fun. You find your passion.”
Bailey ran away from the haunted house, but I know she’ll never run away from the music education major.
She’s found her calling.