Student Spotlight: Chad Bobik
Chad Bobik was trying to determine a clear career path to take when he came to College of DuPage.
“I knew in my heart that I had a burning passion for music and that with enough hard work and self-discipline, anything is truly possible,” he said. “When I first started at College of DuPage, I had no idea how many opportunities would truly arise. Once I set foot on this campus, my future really began to crystallize right before my eyes.”
Helping him achieve those goals were several scholarships offered through the College of DuPage Foundation: the Tandaric Memorial Fine Arts Scholarship and the John Belushi Concert and Jazz Band Scholarship. He played in Small Group Jazz under Professor Tom Tallman and the Guitar Ensemble under Steve Ramsdell, and he worked as a student aid for Ken Paoli in the recording studio.
“College of DuPage provided a world of opportunity right from the start,” he said. “Every teacher I came to know is a top-notch professional and an expert in their field. They know just what you need to succeed and offered decades of professional experience that extends well beyond the classroom. I truly owe my success to all of them, such as Dr. Tallman, Dr. Paoli, Lee Kesselman, Steve Ramsdell, Steven Havens, Mike Folker and Karol Reddington. It was a privilege to work under them.”
After earning his Associate in Fine Arts degree, Bobik received a music transfer achievement scholarship to Elmhurst College. He considered his experience there “amazing” and his achievements include more than 100 hours of experience in the classroom teaching K-8 general music lessons and conducting middle school and high school band and orchestra rehearsals. He also spent two weeks in Jamaica teaching general and instrumental music at schools in the Montego Bay area, such as Mt. Alvernia High School, Chetwood Primary School, Montego Bay High School, Herbert Morrison, and the Montego Bay Boys and Girls Club.
“My favorite experience was when I taught a general music lesson on American music with a group of colleagues at Chetwood Primary School,” he said. “Our lesson was a discussion about jazz, blues, and rock and roll, and what elements in the music set them apart. To help the students distinguish the differences, our group performed excerpts of a 12-bar blues progression in all three styles. From the moment we began playing, the entire classroom erupted in a frenzy of dancing and clapping along. Words simply cannot describe the amount of overwhelming gratitude we all felt from the students after we had finished teaching that day.”
In addition, his guitar quartet was selected to perform at numerous faculty receptions at Elmhurst College, as well as the annual Elmhurst College Chamber Music Honors Recital. Bobik also decided to earn a minor in Music Production.
“I have always had a deep passion for music production and audio engineering, so it was a logical addition for me to broaden my skill set,” he said. “As a result, I got the opportunity to record and mix several projects at the Gretsch Recording studio for local bands such as Hyperdoom, Leeloo Dallas and Shady Play. The knowledge that I have gained in the recording studio has allowed me to venture into running live sound for concerts and festivals.”
While student teaching at Marquardt Middle School, Bobik applied his audio production skills to create a two-week music production curriculum, where students sequenced and edited audio loops to create their own unique digital music compositions. At the end of this two-week unit, he created a mock Grammy Awards ceremony to showcase their work and compiled a “Best Of” CD to share with the school community. He also taught two sections of class guitar, guitar ensemble, class piano, concert band and jazz band at Fenton High School.
“Working with students of varying musical experience, from beginners to experienced players, challenged me to create innovative and developmentally appropriate lesson plans and assessment tools to meet the needs of all students,” he said.
Having earned his bachelor’s degree in Music Education K-12, Bobik is now a full-time elementary general music teacher for Huntley Community School District 158. He is proud to have started his higher education journey at College of DuPage.
“I started attending COD for all the logical reasons – it’s close to home, affordable, filled with magnificent teachers and has a great campus, not to mention that you get a top-notch education at a fraction of the price of a four-year university,” he said. “My advice to others is to never sell yourself short and always strive for more. College of DuPage can be a magnificent, life-changing experience if you open yourself to it and just take that first step.”
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