In the Loop
Alumni News : Sep 16, 2015

Dr. Jose Rocha appointed Associate Professor of Music at Goshen College

By Chelsea Mattson

Dr. Jose Rocha (BM Cello Performance ’98, MM Violincello Performance ’00) was recently appointed Associate Professor of Music at Goshen College, Goshen, Indiana, and Director of the Goshen College Symphony Orchestra.

Since his recent appointment, Rocha is implementing a pilot course, “El Sistema: Music for Social Action.” This course has been applied throughout the United States as an introduction to the history and philosophy of El Sistema, the internationally renowned Venezuelan system of music education and youth/community development. There will be collaboration between Goshen and the Longy School of Music to develop a certification program and eventually a Master of Arts in Teaching degree.

The overall goal for this program is to teach a holistic approach to music that extends beyond notes and rhythms, therefore fashioning better music educators for the future.

“Music changes lives, and through music education we can form better citizens with abundant spiritual wealth and a much better appreciation for beauty and life,” says Rocha.

Rocha’s passion for music education sparked during the “String Project” at UF, which allowed him to teach music to elementary and middle school-aged students and, as a result, gain invaluable educational experiences. Several UF School of Music professors supported and cultivated Rocha's love of music education. Dr. Camille Smith, the director of the program, Dr. Janna Lower, and Mark Tanner, helped guide Rocha through the program and provided him with additional teaching opportunities that became an essential part of his musicianship.

Rocha hopes to share his passion for music and music education with all of his students, as well as bring the new course “El Sistema: Music for Social Action” to the students at Goshen.

“I hope to encourage our students to be better informed about the importance and the necessity for music education,” says Rocha.