Allison Siekmann ’22

Music has always played an important role in Allison’s life. She loves making music and making friends through music. Allison’s parents are music educators; her father teaches instrumental music at the School for Creative and Performing Arts in Cincinnati, and her mother teaches pre-school and Kindermusik. In this musical household, Allison began singing at an early age and started violin lessons in the 2nd grade. Beyond her family, many of Allison’s closest friends are musicians she met through school ensembles and music classes.

Allison started giving private lessons in high school and enjoyed working with her students and watching them develop as musicians. She decided that she liked teaching and began shadowing her father in his classroom, which furthered her passion. Her interest in music education extends beyond promoting the art form; she understands the value of music for developing motor skills and brain function as well as encouraging self-motivation and discipline.  

Outside the classroom and performance hall, Allison relishes taking music into the community. In high school and now at CWRU, she performs with a string quartet and seeks out opportunities to play for organizations that serve others, like a recent appearance at the Ronald McDonald House in Cleveland. Academically, Allison also likes studying mathematics and at home, she relaxes by baking.

Allison chose Case Western Reserve University because the instruction is personalized, and smaller classes offer a music-intensive curriculum with incredible opportunities in the field.  University Circle was also a pull; music majors receive free tickets to The Cleveland Orchestra, and all students have free access to the museums. But most importantly, the positive and welcoming attitude of students and faculty at CWRU convinced Allison that this was the right place for her. From her first visit, it was evident that the faculty truly care about their students, and in turn, the students are open and supportive of each other.

Allison is a recipient of the Pat Ciricillo Music Education Scholarship, a four-year award established in memory of musician and teacher Pasquale “Pat” Ciricillo (ADL’29).

Where are you from?

Cincinnati, OH

What is your major?

Music Education

Why did you choose to study this subject?

I believe in the ability of a student’s musical education to aid in the development of brain function, increase academic success, and form productive behavioral habits. Since music is like a language, I also believe that students are greatly benefited by the unifying power of creating music with peers.

What is your favorite class and/or faculty member, and why?

Dr. Kathleen Horvath has been my number one supporter since arriving on campus. She is constantly challenging me to grow by presenting me with opportunities to develop my musical and educational abilities.

Why did you choose CWRU?

The student and faculty population was incredibly welcoming when I visited. Each individual not only answered my questions, but also demonstrated a sincere desire to develop a friendship and to aid me in my college decision. Additionally, the available hands-on opportunities presented to individuals in the music education program are far more extensive than those at other institutions. This also means that each class gives a personalized education and allows students to develop to the best of their ability.

What do you like best about CWRU?

I love the sense of community, both within my department and within the residence halls. It makes campus feel like a second home and harbors the development of the individual academically and socially.

What do you like best about living in Cleveland?

The accessibility to local centers of culture, like Severance Hall and the Museum of Art, creates an incredible atmosphere of learning and allows students to learn more outside of the classroom.

Describe any research projects, study abroad, internship or other unique experiences and opportunities you have had as a result of being a CWRU student.

This semester, I was able to work with the Ohio All State Orchestra and attend the Ohio Music Educators Association conference. These two experiences opened my eyes to the versatile skills that a music educator must possess and acquire resources that I can use in my professional career.

What extracurricular activities are you involved in?

Case University Circle Orchestra, Klezmer Ensemble, Chamber Music, Mu Phi Epsilon

What are some of your interests and hobbies?

I enjoy baking and spending time with friends.

What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment so far?

Getting the opportunity to come study music in the CWRU/CIM joint music program and develop my musical and educational abilities.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Running a music program within a school district or pursuing a masters degree in music education.