“It wasn’t until coming to PCC that I desired to
teach music in a Christian school,” said music education major Justin Wilson
(Jr., GA). “My instructors opened my eyes to the need for Christian
school music teachers, and the Lord burdened my heart. Every class I have taken has
added to the depth and breadth of my knowledge of music. I feel that each day I
learn something new—God is using it to prepare me for my career.”
Since high school, Justin knew he wanted to study music, but he had always thought it
would be at a public college. That was, until he met Nick Kozar, PCC’s band
director, during College Days. “It
was really Mr. Kozar’s friendliness and encouragement that led me to come to
PCC,” said Justin.
Justin is one of the many students who chose PCC’s music program because of a
personal experience with music faculty. “The atmosphere in PCC’s music
department is one of mentorship, support, and love,” said music faculty Dr.
David Hill (’04), something unusual in such a competitive field.
One of the reasons Dr. Hill came to PCC was to study under Mrs. Daisy de Luca
Jaffé. “When I heard of Mrs. Jaffé—an artist in residence
for the music department and a piano performer and pedagogue of distinction—I
knew that I wanted to study at PCC,” he said.
In 1994, Dr. and Mrs. Alberto Jaffé were invited to become PCC’s artists
in residence and establish a strings program using the Jaffé Strings
Method well known in Brazil. Early in their ministry at PCC, the
Jaffés each accepted Christ as their Savior and dedicated their lives to
training young people to make music for the Lord. After her husband’s passing
in 2012, Mrs. Jaffé continues to teach private piano lessons. With a little
chuckle, she leaned back in her chair and smiled. “Oh! I enjoy
teaching!” she said. “I think this is my life.”
After graduating with master’s degrees from PCC, Dr. David and Leah
Hill spent time performing with world-class musicians in Freiburg, Germany,
before returning to their alma mater to teach. Now, Dr. Hill has his own
opportunities to be blessed by his students. He recalled how one student told her
peers, “I’ve learned to stop worrying about where everyone else
is—just to be in competition with myself. Am I being the best I can be?”
This made a huge impression on Dr. Hill because her comments reflect the perspective
he seeks to instill in his students.
His wife, voice instructor Leah Hill, has had similar experiences with her own
students. “I observe my students become thrilled over these moments of
growth,” she said, “and the evidence is immediate—a freer tone, a
more beautiful sound, a more meaningful interpretation. That’s pure
One of her voice students, James Strasburg (Sr., IN), feels the knowledge he
has gained during his last three years of private lessons is unparalleled.
“She has a way of learning her students’ struggles and adapting to what
techniques are needed for each student individually,” he said. “The
music program and teachers at PCC have greatly helped me in finding my way to be the
best musician that I am capable of being.”
Whether students are studying music, music education, or music ministries, they take
classes that broaden their knowledge-base, building both their classical and sacred
music understanding. Private lessons, taken by all music majors, cultivate a love of
music creation as students are encouraged in the development and refinement of their
skills. Senior internships for music education students give them the opportunity to
teach music lessons or band for a full semester, while music ministry students serve
in a local church ministry.
Learning through practical classroom instruction, growing in private lessons, and
practicing in music rooms take students from instruction to application in the
emphasis of their choice—piano, voice, instrumental, or conducting. Each
student’s education includes opportunities to perform in concerts by various music groups
on campus including chamber groups, choral groups, handbells, band, and orchestra.
Music and music education students give a solo recital as the climax of their
Today, the desire to be a blessing through music is shared by PCC students,
graduates, and teachers alike. The music rooms in the Visual and Performing Arts
building reverberate with the vitality and creativity of aspiring musicians.