Graduate, Master of Music With a Concentration in Conducting
Nadiah Eleskandrany grew up in El Paso, but moved to Houston after high school to pursue a degree in vocal performance at the University of Houston. A year after graduating in 2017, she returned to El Paso with her alternative teaching certification.
Nadiah directs the choir program at Austin High School and is really enjoying the experience. Outside of teaching both privately and with the school district, she also sings professionally and leads worship at the First Baptist Church, which has been one of the most rewarding things for her about being back in her home town.
Nadiah graduated in Spring 2021.
Why she enrolled in the program:
I have always wanted to pursue a graduate degree but was hesitant about the time commitment that it would require outside of being a full-time teacher. When I first heard about UTEP offering a conducting degree online, I knew it would be the perfect fit for me. It provided the opportunity to manage and maintain the rigor of a graduate degree within the constructs of my work schedule.
Her experience with online learning:
I took a few online classes during my time as an undergraduate, so I was familiar with the general procedures and expectations. I tend to be a fairly disciplined person, so the ability to fit the course requirements uniquely into my schedule was exactly what I needed.
It has been a pleasure being enrolled in this program. The professors are unbelievably kind, understanding and helpful. Though I have been involved with music my entire life, this degree furthered my knowledge, abilities and confidence in a way that I had not experienced before. I hope that I will be able to apply this degree to various professional endeavors in the future and continue building on the strong foundational elements this program provided.
On how this degree has helped her in her job:
Obtaining this degree has definitely played a role in my current employment. Not only does it pertain exactly to my field, but I am able to put what I have learned into practice every day. It will also help with future endeavors as I am now better equipped with the tools necessary to succeed in different areas.
On the support she received as a student:
I feel that the University and staff provide various outlets for assistance. They are communicative and are always able to address any needs. Although I did enter the program knowing that a course of this nature would require an amount of scheduling and discipline, I am thankful to have been able to figure such things independently. Considering that virtual platforms are now an integral part of our future, it might benefit some students to be offered [additional] resources to better aid time management and unique pacing of their schedule.
What she would say to prospective online students:
This program has the potential to enhance a student both musically and professionally. If one is attentive and invests in the course material and practices of this type of degree, they will learn a vast amount of information and techniques. These will prove to be vital to their professional success in the future. If someone is looking for a program that allows for schedule flexibility while maintaining the rigor and standards of graduate level study, I would highly encourage their enrollment in UTEP’s program.
On whether she would enroll in this program again if she had to do things over:
I would consider enrolling in this program again if I had to, primarily because of the convenience of it being a virtual program. I have been able to learn [a substantial amount of] material that will benefit the entirety of my career as a musician and consider this program very valuable.