Tammy RIker


Expected graduation date: December 2012

Degree objective: BM in Music Education (Instrumental General Music)

Instrument: Flute and piccolo, and I claim tuba as my secondary

University highlights, achievements and awards:
Three time performer on ISU Honor’s Recital, now known as the President’s Recital; Recipient of the 2010 Music History/Theory Award; Three time performer on CMF Student Recital; Winner of 2011 ISU Concerto Competition; Member of Pi Kappa Lambda; 2010 and 2011 recipient of the ISU Barbara Booshong Flute and Piccolo award

High School: Washington High School

Hometown: Washington, Indiana

Family ties to ISU: My older brother, Todd Riker, attended ISU for Information Technology from 2005-2008.

I chose to attend ISU because... My main reason for attending ISU was to have flute lesson with Dr. Joyce Wilson. In high school, I had multiple opportunities to come to ISU for flute events and I got to play for Dr. Wilson and talk with her on different occasions. I knew by sophomore year of high school that I wanted to come to ISU and learn flute with her. I was also attracted to ISU by the small classes in the music department, the beautiful campus, and the overall congenial, educational atmosphere.

When I have free time, I like...When I am not studying, practicing, attending class, tutoring music history, giving lessons, or attending ensembles, I like to spend time with my small group of friends. We mostly like to talk about music, play video games (which I claim to be my least developed skill), talk about music, eat, talk about music, eat, and talk about music. Occasionally I sleep.

My favorite places on campus to study are... I like studying in the library in the comfortable chairs by windows on the third floor, though this is probably a bad idea as I am inclined to be easily distracted. If I were to be asked where my favorite places to practice are, however, I would mention the stairwell of the CPFA which overlooks the churches on seventh street, the fourth floor of the FA on sunny Sunday mornings, and the below-ground-level cement entrance to the art building where the acoustics are unmatched by any other place I have practiced.

My favorite professor is...If I were to name a favorite professor…I would get a lot of bad grades. I kid! In all seriousness, I would have to name Dr. Joyce Wilson my favorite professor because of the rounded flute education which she has provided me. My flute teacher for four years in high school, Stephanie O’Brian of Montgomery, IN, was taught by Dr. Wilson when she attended ISU for music education. I then went on to learn most of what I know of higher level musicality on flute from Dr. Wilson. She always keeps me in line, makes me want to practice, and helps me to remember that the goal of playing is for music’s sake. Sometimes in the midst of everything we do as music majors at ISU it can be easy to overlook what made us love playing or singing in the first place, but Dr. Wilson always helps me to keep music at the center of my playing.

I can’t forget to mention Dr. Dean as well; he introduced me to and taught/forced me to love music history through his classes. They were the hardest classes I have taken, but they provided me with a source of information which I continue to use in daily life. Music history excites me like most other subjects never have, and I have Dr. Dean to thank for that.

The last professor I need to mention is Dr. Clifton, a former music theory professor at ISU. He taught me theory for all four of my required semesters, and taught my ear-training classes two of those semesters. He was always cheerful and pleasant to have as a professor, which is necessary when you have the class at eight in the morning. Beyond that, he expected excellence and taught in such a way that you had to think and question in order to understand. There are many more professors I would love to mention, but unfortunately there is not enough room to list that many people and what they have done for me during my time here.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with... This is such a difficult question. Would I spend it with a world-renown flutist? Or maybe with a famous painter or poet who could show me another angle of the arts. Perhaps I would just spend it with my friends and have one glorious afternoon with nothing to do and nowhere to be. There are too many options to choose only one person to spend an afternoon with!

If I knew I could not fail, I would... I would audition at a selective conservatory for my graduate degree where I would take multiple hours of flute lessons each week, have master-classes with my flute professor and my fellow flutists, perform in a top-level orchestra as the principle flutist, go see the local symphony perform each week, and never have homework to interrupt my intense practice schedule.

After graduation, I plan to... I will student teach during the Fall of 2012 and take a semester off for graduate school planning and auditions. I plan to begin graduate school for flute performance in the Fall of 2013. After this, I will hopefully pursue getting a doctorate in performance and teach university-level flute. If I have time in graduate school, I may look into a minor in music history.

The one ISU experience I will always remember is/will be... There are so many experiences I have had the privilege to enjoy that it would take pages and pages to name them all. From late night IHOP runs, to the numerous recitals I have performed on, to the random places around campus I have practiced, to the amazing people I have met and became friends with, to the beautiful seasons have gotten to see and experience on campus for four years. There are many places I have gotten to go and people I have gotten to meet that I otherwise never would have known existed without ISU and my professors here; I have been blessed with four years of education, friendship, personal growth, fluting and all its various aspects, and most of all, music. I will never forget my time spent here.

If I knew then what I know now, I would… I would do nothing differently. I regret nothing and I would change nothing. My time here at ISU has been some of the best of my life. It has shaped me as a person and where I will go in the future, and I would just tell my younger self not to worry and to enjoy every minute of college life because it is over much too quickly.

If I could serve as a mentor for future ISU music students, I would tell them/suggest that they… Stop worrying and don’t stress so much, but at the same time never stop caring. Always strive to do your best work in classes, always perform at your highest level (including in rehearsals), and always continue to better yourself both as a person, as a student, and as a performer. Work to be well-rounded. Find a way to help someone else; give private lessons to a younger student in the community, volunteer with the youth orchestra or the children’s choir, or help someone who is struggling in a class. Time spent focusing on others is always time well spent. Finally, never lose sight of the music. We chose a career in music for a reason; never forget that music is what you love and what you live for. You have one chance to introduce a piece to someone. Instead of worrying about those notes you will miss or the places where your sound breaks, focus on making the audience love the piece. Focus on making the audience feel about your music the way you felt when you first picked up your instrument or began singing. Make them love it.

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