Comments on Leadership: ways in which to develop your potential as a leader. This presentation was prepared for Sigma Alpha Iota. Dr. Ewell is the advisor for this music fraternity for women. BDP# 340.

[Music: Orefici’s Melodic Study #5]

Welcome, I am Terry Ewell and I want to briefly talk to you about leadership. Last week I was in Texas to visit a university as an evaluator for the National Association of Schools of Music. Besides listening to a concert; visiting classes, rehearsals, and music lessons; I also observed a student teacher during her internship in a middle school. I have observed many student teachers, but she was the best I have seen yet. I was impressed by her poise in front of the class of forty young vocalists. She guided them through the planned rehearsal and made appropriate corrections. She demonstrated well with her voice, although it was just an average voice. Her leadership of the group was excellent, and it was clear that she had command of the class’s attention.

I observed the deportment of other students at this music program in concerts and during interviews and all of them seemed poised and confident as well. This left me wondering, “How did this school produce so many students with clear leadership qualities and comfort in front of a group.” I started asking around and I think I have a few answers for you.

Now, none of the students at this school were particularly exceptional, in fact many of them have less music training and aptitude than some of you listening to this video right now. Many did not come from families with professionally employed parents and a number of them were first-generation college students. What they did, however, have was a dedication about learning to be leaders and a willingness to put themselves in leadership positions.

Every student in that music education program gives a solo recital. This only happens after they have performed many times in front of others. Now, I think that Sigma Alpha Iota addresses this issue well with the requirements for recitals. Take advantage of this. Put yourself in situations where you will be nervous. Hone your skills for presenting yourself well in front of others. Not only play your instrument or sing in the recital, but also address the audience with a few words. Every time you do this, you will be much better and much more comfortable in front of others.
These students were also encouraged to give campus tours or to be ambassadors. I know that Towson University has openings for students to lead prospective students and parents around the campus. This is another great experience for speaking in front of others and leading groups.

Well, naturally Sigma Alpha Iota has many leadership opportunities as well. Be eager to volunteer for these. It will help you to better conduct yourself in front of others. It will help you to be more comfortable leading others as well.
I found a website at Towson University with many other ideas. Some things listed there are: Tigers Lead, Leadership Lunch Series, LeaderShape, National Society of Leadership and Success, Omicron Delta Kappa, and Student Organization Leadership Summit. Also, many other items are on this website.

I will close with this statement from Psychology Today:

“The best estimates offered by research is that leadership is about one-third born and two-thirds made.”[1]

So, you may not be born with great leadership skills, but you certainly can develop them. There is so much that you can do to become a better leader. Seek out those opportunities to develop your skills as a leader. The world always needs more excellent leaders. Bye.

[Music: Orefici’s Melodic Study #5]

[1] Quotation from: