Student Spotlight 2021: Grace Caine

A young woman with glasses wearing a sweater leaning her head on her hands against a tree.

Meet Grace Caine! She is one of the Council’s outstanding scholarship recipients for 2021 and the subject of this month’s Student Spotlight. Congratulations to Grace on being awarded $2,000 to support her ongoing education.

Grace, now a sophomore at UW-Whitewater, may be from tiny Lowell, Wisconsin, but she has big plans for the future. Majoring in Instrumental Music Education, Grace envisions a career as a school band director. She already knows something about being part of a band. As a freshmen at UWW last year, she played in the Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble II and numerous saxophone groups, while still finding time to be active in the Jazz Education Network, the National Association for Music Education, The UWW Saxophone Club, and the North American Saxophone Alliance.

But Grace is about much more than music, as we learned from our recent conversation with her

Council: Why are you continuing your education?

Grace: Throughout my education, I planned to attend college. This is something that drove me to achieve good grades and be involved in clubs and my interests. Graduating from high school, I had an idea of what college would be like and braced myself for the ride. In many respects it surpassed my expectations and made me realize I am doing the right thing.

I feel I am truly meant to be studying to become a music teacher because this journey in college has taught me more about myself and the world than I learned in all of my previous education. College makes me stressed, but also gives me a great joy and feelings of achievement. The privilege of getting to pursue my dreams and put control of my learning in my own hands is exciting to me. The fact that all of these doors are open to me to allow me to flourish in my education and professional studies is why I continue my education.

Council: Tell us more about what you are planning to do in the future and why?

Grace: Once I graduate with my bachelor’s degree in music education, my hope is to be employed at a school to teach beginning band and middle school band. Sometimes when I say this to people, they are surprised that I would want to work with middle schoolers, but I find this age to be a very vital time. This is when kids/teens are beginning to grow out of their child phase and into their teenage/young adult phase. I have also had the privilege to work one on one with middle school students teaching private lessons and helping with beginning band programs. It brings me so much happiness and fulfillment to see when a student is enjoying themself and finally understanding a concept.

Council: What do you feel you are learning about life as you continue your education?

Grace: One of the biggest things I have learned while continuing my education is actually more about myself. I have learned some good things about myself, but have also found many flaws that I did not know existed before. For example, I have learned that time management and communication are two things that are crucial for relationships and work. If you do not communicate with people clearly and assertively, nothing productive will be done. And if you do not manage time well, how will you complete everything you need for work and still take care of yourself? I continue to learn that assertiveness and directness are not “mean,” but necessary for mutual understanding

Council: Is there one thing you hope the Council, and those who read your story, will remember about you?

Grace: I would like the Council to know how grateful I am for this scholarship. I truly appreciate it. I love school with all my heart and can’t imagine myself anywhere else. Just as you are helping me now, I want to help students when I become a music teacher.

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