Student Spotlight: Micayla Dawson

Micayla Dawson is a senior at UNI majoring in Instrumental Music Education. Dawson is originally from Misawa, Japan, and Maryland but has lived in Iowa for the last 12 years. Her primary instrument is the trumpet. Outside of school, Dawson enjoys rock-climbing, reading, spending time with friends and Netflix. 

Dawson decided in high school that UNI was the right fit when she competed in the Tallcorn Jazz Festival as well as the Thespian Festival on the campus. She was influenced to go to UNI since it is one of the best music schools in the state as well as having a good Teacher Education program. Her, like many other students, found the size of UNI to fit her very well. 

“I appreciate that though it is a small university, UNI provides all of the same opportunities that a large university would have.”

During Dawson’s time at UNI, she has been actively involved in many activities and organizations that relate to her music career. Dawson was a member of the Panther Marching Band for four years and held a leadership position for two of those years. She has participated in the pep band for three years and held a leadership position for two of those years. Many other organizations she has been involved with include jazz band for two years, symphonic band, concert band, winter drumline, UNI IBA, Tau Beta Sigma, and also as a Recording Assistant and Music Ambassador for the School of Music. Not only have these many organizations provided networking connections, leadership, and public speaking skills, but also an opportunity to grow as a more confident future educator.

Some of Dawson’s most memorable highlights from her time in the music department include when she, “earned a grant to research the use of pop music as a supplement to the traditional recorder sequence, and will be taking that research to the National Conference of Undergraduate Research in Memphis later this spring.” She has also found valuable experience from coordinating LED lights for shows and traveling abroad in London. 

After graduating in May Dawson hopes to teach middle or high school band, and have the opportunity to teach overseas. Acquiring a master’s degree in the future is also a possibility for Dawson. Her advice to any prospective students coming into the School of Music is, “There are endless opportunities available, and don’t be afraid to try new things!”