Student Spotlight: Jarrett Herman

Jarrett Herman

Jarrett Herman
Major: Music

Jarrett Herman has been writing music for several years, primarily songs but also bits and pieces of other, more ambitious ideas.

"It's a privilege just to have creative thought, let alone to have so many outlets with which to exercise and express it," he said. "I would love to just be able to formulate any of my wildest musical ideas into compositions, but I don't yet have the formal knowledge and understanding to effectively articulate and flesh out some of those more ambitious or complex visions.

"That's where the education comes in for me. I want to have the tools at my fingertips to compose more artistic and sophisticated music. Ideally, as things get progressively complex, I'll be forced to keep learning and developing, which in turn will help my compositional skills to grow and flourish even more, thus perpetuating the cycle."

Herman is now at College of DuPage, pursuing his Associate in Fine Arts degree. He's also a Presidential Scholar, which includes a full-tuition scholarship and enrollment in COD's Honors program and the Phi Theta Kappa Honors Society.

"It was definitely the best value offer I received from any of the colleges I applied to," he said. "The scholarship does not come without its requirements. That said, the 15 credit hours and 3.5 GPA minimum is certainly pushing me to work diligently. But the extra effort seems to be paying off, as I have straight A's right now. Along with that, I'm learning more of what I want to learn than I had ever been permitted to do in high school. The faculty and coursework is providing me with the invaluable knowledge and understanding that I desire, especially everyone in the Music program." 

Although he's not sure what career path to follow, Herman is hoping to transfer to a university and pursue at least a bachelor's degree in music composition. He still draws inspiration from two people who have had lasting impacts on who he is today.

"My grandmother is just about the nicest, kindest example of a human being on this Earth," he said. "Since I was in diapers, she has been taking care of me in any way she could. I look back to before I even started kindergarten, when she would come over during the day and take care of me while both my parents worked. She would make macaroni and cheese for lunch and always made sure I had enough to eat before she even thought about her own needs. I look at her now after all these years, and I think to myself, that's the kind of person I want to be. I just want to treat everyone kindly and never put myself first.

"My guitar instructor, on the other hand, has served to teach and inspire me quite profoundly since I've been learning from him. If it wasn't for his seemingly boundless musical knowledge and ability to guide me in my own pursuits, I may have never reached the skill level I am at now, and almost certainly would not have developed the same degree of discipline that got me there. Among all of the musical knowledge gained, he has also shared with me his own two cents on living in the real world. Thanks to his bittersweet wisdom, I will always remain dedicated to my studies, conscious to my surroundings and seeking the righteous path, in spite of any obstacles that life or my fellow man might throw my way."

More about the Music program