Bio: Mrs. Kathleen Sabaini is primarily an elementary music education professor at Indiana State.
She received her Master’s degree in music from Indiana State University in 1991.
Q: What classes are your favorite to teach?
A: What I’ve been teaching at ISU and really enjoying is Music 325: Music and the Education of Children. It’s the fundamentals of music for elementary education majors. It’s a wide variety of students: that’s the interesting challenge. I have people who are currently in band at ISU, I have a music minor, and I have people who didn’t even get elementary school music, so it’s a unique
challenge for me to have that kind of variety of people in class and to figure how to teach them effectively.
Q: What is your favorite part about ISU?
A: I’ve been here since 1983, so seeing the changes that have taken place on campus over this time has been very interesting. We raised our children here; when I was in grad school, I had an office where Fine and Performing Arts now stands, and so after school they’d come say hi to me and then go over to Dreiser to see their dad, who ran the radio station at the time.
Q: Any interesting hobbies?
A: I like to ride my bike for transportation. I like to garden, even though you wouldn’t be able to tell by the state of it at the moment.
Q: What would you say is your teaching style?
A: That’s undergone a big change this semester. Getting in there and trying to get inside the students’ head, so that I understand what they need is important. I’ve taught everybody from kindergarten to returning adult students for Indiana Wesleyan, so I never know what their preconceived notions are, what their background is, or how they conceptualize music: that’s the challenge. It’s to try to understand what they’re understanding, and to adjust myself to fit that.
Q: Favorite place on campus?
A: I like my little office. It’s cozy.
Q: Favorite music genre?
A: I would have to say classical probably offers the widest range of variety. You can always find something in classical where you aren’t listening to the same thing over and over.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: My dream trip is Rome, Florence, and Venice. I went to Paris two years ago, and I would gladly go back, although I might not go home.
Q: What did you study in college?
A: I entered college at Illinois State in music education, and after two years, I ran out of money, so my fiancé and I got married. We worked for a year: he got a graduate assistantship at Illinois State, so we moved back there and I had a baby. Then we went to Millikan, and I studied Sacred Music for a year. We moved to Virginia, I had another baby, and then we moved back here. I got my
bachelor’s in Music Performance (because by that time it had been 13 years) and I got a Master’s in Music History and picked up a general teaching certification.
Q: Why were you so drawn to music?
A: I never wanted to do anything else. There was this old music variety show that was on in the 60s, and there was a trio of women: the Lennon sisters. I wanted to be a Lennon sister. Then I wanted to be a Broadway star.
Q: What do your students mean to you?
A: Dandelion seeds. You know when you blow on a dandelion and the little seeds go everywhere, and they create more? That’s what that feels like to me. It’s like I’m carrying on the heritage that was passed down to me from my music teachers.
Q: What advice would you give to music students?
A: My music students are elementary music teachers in the making, so I would say this: keep these skills in your toolbox because there is going to be some student who really needs you to be able to do that, to be able to understand how they conceptualize the world. If nothing else, I hope you enjoy playing the ukulele for the rest of your life.