Emily Golden

Emily outside smiling at the camera
Director of Bands at East Burke High School in Connelly Springs, North Carolina

Education: B.M, Music Education (K-12), UNC Charlotte (2022)

Hometown: Morehead City, N.C.

Emily Golden's love for music started at a very young age. She seemed to be surrounded by music quite often. 

"Ever since I was little, I have always been fascinated by those who could play an instrument. I grew up listening to my dad and grandfather play guitar and was inspired by their love for music. I first joined band within the middle school program in sixth grade and continued throughout high school. Within my own high school band experience, I witnessed the outstanding impact my own band directors had on the many students surrounding me and I just knew it was the exact role I wanted to fulfill in my own life- helping students reach their maximum potential despite any odds. I wanted to devote my life to something so much larger than myself. I knew that becoming a music educator was exactly where I was being called. I have since taken heavy involvement in teaching and sharing music to others, including serving as Drum Major and Undergraduate Assistant for the "Pride of Niner Nation" Marching Band as well as the Founding President of "The Brass Guild" at UNC Charlotte! These opportunities within my path of becoming a music educator have led to me witness the special impact music can have on so many different people. It has truly prepared me to help provide this to my own students now and the future ones to come." 

Emily says that she learned how to take care of and teach students by watching her professors here. "I consider myself beyond lucky to have studied with resounding names behind key research in music education, instrumental conducting, and music performance. My own studio professor, Dr. Skillen, gave me the tools and expertise on what it truly means to be an impactful educator. He completely changed the trajectory of my life in his role as my teacher. I often witness how the impact of the educators I studied with from my time at UNC Charlotte reflect strongly into my teachings now towards my own students. For that, I am so immensely grateful."

Her favorite memory from UNC Charlotte? It was incredibly meaningful to have her old high school band director as her supervising professor while she was student teaching, Emily says. "As someone who inspired me to become an educator in the first place, it felt as if everything came back full circle!"

Emily is currently serving as the Director of Bands at East Burke High School in Connelly Springs, North Carolina. "In this role, I teach students from 9th-12th grade within instrumental ensembles such as Marching Band, Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and Wind Ensemble. I can't explain how lucky I am to get to help students grow through such a crucial part of their life- both inside and outside the band room! I am asked often by many people, 'Why would you ever want to teach a bunch of teenagers?' For me, it is one of the greatest roles I've ever fulfilled. There is nothing more rewarding than helping students at this age realize what they are truly capable of. I absolutely love it."

Her advice for current CoA+A students. "My advice would be to keep pushing yourself to grow and within that process, give yourself the grace to grow! Take in all that you can from the great professors and resources on campus! Passion will never fail."