Zanneta Kubajak

Biography

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Chicago, Illinois 

Current employer/position: Chicago Public Schools, general music and choir teacher 

Berklee graduate program: M.M. in music education 

Undergraduate school: Northeastern Illinois University

Undergraduate major: music education

Principal instrument: voice

Languages spoken (other than English): Polish


Why did you choose Berklee’s graduate program?

Berklee has always been my dream school; in fact, there was a time when studying at Berklee seemed like an unattainable dream. However, when I began my journey into graduate studies, I was once again drawn to Berklee. I chose Berklee’s graduate program because of the diverse faculty and the opportunity to study and find solutions for contemporary issues and strategies in music education.

What was the most valuable thing you learned during your master’s program at Berklee?

In my first two semesters, I’ve already learned so much that is valuable, not only to my growth as a musician and music educator but also my growth as a person. One thing that has stood out to me thus far is the bountiful amount of kindness and grace demonstrated by every individual I have had the opportunity to learn from and with at Berklee. Through these interactions, I have become empowered to always embrace my students with kindness and grace, even in the most adverse situations.

Briefly describe a memorable moment from your time in the graduate program.

One of my most memorable moments took place during my first semester (which was remote) when my teacher started us off singing a freedom song. After we learned the song, we were called to unmute and contribute, and it was magical! Most importantly, it was a model for an assignment we were going to work on as well as a model for teaching strategies that I now use with my students.

How do you use the skills acquired during your master’s program in your current teaching position?

Being at Berklee has inspired me to “remix” the ways in which I engage with my students. In addition to this, my experience at Berklee has prepared and empowered me to share my voice and strategies with my colleagues through social media and by leading professional development presentations. 

What are your goals as an educator? Did your experience at Berklee help further those goals?

My goals as an educator are to cultivate and sustain a learning space where I am not the facilitator but the co-facilitator along with my students, and also to create and present meaningful and fun music ed content on various media outlets. Studying at Berklee has given me new insight on student engagement, expanded my teaching practices, and empowered me to nourish and tend to the creative inside of me.

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