Music Education Alumnus Mentors Future Teachers

Music teacher Holly Serio received a bachelor and master's in music education at Lebanon Valley College

Whether it’s teaching her elementary students at ELCO Intermediate School or mentoring one of her LVC student teachers, music teacher Holly Serio ’08, M’15, knows the importance of relationships and how music can strengthen human connections. 

“I feel that it is extremely important to have students actively participating in their music education, and not just learn ABOUT music,” she said. “I enjoy using music that is popular because the chances increase that students will think about and put to use what we’ve covered in class if they are exposed to the music outside of my classroom. I also teach the students about the therapeutic qualities of music and how music can be a healthy form of expression.”

A double graduate of LVC with a bachelor’s and master’s in music education, Serio shared how LVC shaped her teaching approach. Surrounded by a small group of talented active music teachers, the master’s classmates were discussing creativity in the classroom.

“I realized I could do so much more to inspire creativity through performance and composition, which helped to shape how I approach lessons, even years later,” she said. “This was a pattern that I discovered about the classes in the MME program–I feel that the MME program does a nice job offering classes where teachers can take away practical ideas and strategies that they can immediately implement into their lessons.”

Serio originally arrived at LVC wanting to be a composer, but added the double major in education at her mom’s encouragement.  

“Within the first year, I dropped the composition piece to focus solely on music education because I immediately fell in love with teaching when I started taking education classes,” she said.

Serio noted how the field placements prepared her well for her career. The exposure in the classrooms she received since her freshman year allowed her to understand the responsibility of having a classroom of her own. 

“My student teaching placements were incredible, and my co-operating teachers became mentors to me during my first years of teaching,” she said. “I now host student teachers from LVC, and I enjoy getting the chance to give back in that way. I tell all of my student teachers that they can consider me a career-long resource because I realized through my time at LVC how important it is to form relationships and connections with other teachers.”

Not only did Serio connect with great mentors, but she also met her husband, Phil, during her sophomore year. Phil even proposed during her senior year on the choir balcony of the Frederic K. Miller Chapel.

“Eleven years of marriage and two children later, LVC still has a very special place in our hearts,” she said. “I even take my son and daughter to have picnics and bike rides around campus during the summers. It is amazing to be able to show them where their parents met and share stories about our time there.”

 

-- Faith Ishler, Marketing & Communications Intern