ENMU Choral Music Education Major Eager to Guide Children through Music

Annabelle Rangel
Annabelle Rangel

ENMU Choral Music Education Major Eager to Guide Children through Music

Annabelle Rangel is passionate about music, which is evident through her major in choral music education K-12 at Eastern New Mexico University.

"I started band in sixth grade and started learning how to read music and play percussion instruments," she says. "I found a love of singing my freshman year of high school and wanted to continue singing at the collegiate level."

Annabelle wants to be an elementary school music teacher after she completes her degree at Eastern. "I think children should be exposed to music at an early age," she expresses. "Music uses multiple intelligences and both sides of the brain, thus providing students with greater success rates in school."

She thinks public schools need administrators who will support fine arts and push for the continuation of these programs. "I want to eventually study and receive a master's in education administration so I can continue to advocate to keep music in schools," she explains.

The senior, who plans to graduate in the spring of 2020, is in a five-year degree plan. "I am in my second semester of my fourth year," she shares.

Annabelle feels that all of her teachers in the music department have been influential and helpful to her.

"Dr. Gregory Gallagher, my private voice teacher, has helped me grow as a musician and has influenced me to believe in myself and continue singing as best as I can.

"My advisor, Dr. Jason Paulk, has encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and find teaching strategies that will help me successfully run a rehearsal with my future students," she continues. "Mrs. Kayla Paulk, my coaching accompanist, has given me boosts of confidence and support by collaborating with me weekly.

"These professors, in particular, have seen me at my best and at my worst and continue to help me reach my goals of becoming a better performer and instructor of music," she says.

"Teaching Elementary Methods" is her favorite class so far. "The class focuses on teaching music to children in the form of folksong, dances, games and much more. The class is very interactive and is less stressful than some of my other core classes."

The Greyhound chose to attend Eastern partially because of its close proximity to her home in Lovington, New Mexico. "It's only an hour away," she says. "I also came to ENMU at least twice a year in high school for music festivals and competitions, so I was familiar with the campus."

Annabelle knew that she wanted to study music while still in high school from the time she had previously spent with the voice faculty. She is "very happy with my choice in attending this University."

Her advice for students wanting to study music is simple: practice! "It can be tedious and very time consuming, but in the end, it will be worth it," she shares.

"Making music can be rewarding when you are using a healthy technique and enhancing your aural skills. Don't be afraid of the competition at our school because all of the music students are actually very supportive and friendly. There will always be someone you can talk to or ask for help with anything you need."

Annabelle has made the Dean's List every semester of college from fall 2015 to present. She also received two Young Singer awards, an award for outstanding choral music education majors as well as "numerous scholarships that have completely paid off my student account."

The ENMU resident assistant of three years has worked in the Office of Housing and Residence Life for two years. She holds an annual clothing drive every spring in her dorm, which goes to the Lighthouse Mission in Clovis. Annabelle works for a church in Clovis that gives her a scholarship for her help with their choir. She is also the vice president of the American Choral Directors Association and a member of Kappa Delta Pi, an international honor society in education.

Annabelle is a member of the ENMU Chamber Singers and Swanee Singers. "These are two auditioned ensembles," she explains. Annabelle says that the Chamber Singers has more challenging music than the University Singers, which is campus-wide. The Swanee Singers, in comparison, is more of a contemporary pop song group.

She recently competed in the Department of Music's Friends of Music scholarship competition. She qualified to move on to the finals round and competed against 17 other performers that included both vocalists and instrumentalists. She was one of nine students who won a scholarship.

Her activities are not exclusive to Portales. "I won third place at a National Association of Teachers of Singing competition in Albuquerque and was selected to participate in a masterclass at another competition, Vocal Artistry for Young Singers, with a guest clinician," she shares.

Back in Portales, Annabelle's favorite place on the Eastern campus is the Office of Housing and Residence Life. "It's a quiet place I can stop in to catch my breath after a long day and casually talk with my coworkers," she says. "The office has a friendly and inviting environment that makes me want to come back even when I am not scheduled to work."

Annabelle likes going to the fall football games and cheering for the football team. "The Wagon Wheel game is one of the most exciting games to watch. I enjoy dressing up in Eastern gear and going to the games, whether it is home or out of town," she explains.

Born in Hobbs, New Mexico and raised in Lovington, Annabelle has a twin sister named Ysabelle who is studying at the New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs. She also has an eleven-year-old brother named Elijah in fifth grade and a three-year-old sister named Ruby who is "living her best life," in Annabelle's own words. Their mother, Maria Gonzales, is a stay-at-home parent.

Annabelle's hobbies include singing, napping, drinking coffee and watching Netflix.