Meet Ramona Kime ’80, Ph.D., Arts and Humanities Department Chair and professor of music, not to mention an Olivet College alumna. She earned her bachelor’s degree in music education from OC in 1980 before furthering her education in piano performance. Dr. Kime has served OC for more than 30 years teaching music courses, piano lessons and often sharing her talents with the community as well. Still today, she loves Olivet’s campus almost as much as she enjoys building relationships with Comets.
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING AT OC?
I love working at OC for many reasons. For one, I love the smaller classes. I feel that I can get to know my students much better, and I can also help them more directly in their learning. I also love being able to teach a variety of classes and lessons, something I couldn’t do if I taught at a big university. We wear many hats teaching at a small college, but I love it that way!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A PROFESSOR?
Growing up, my dream job was always to be like my favorite music teacher at the time. In middle school, I liked my choir teacher, so I wanted to teach middle school choir. Then in high school, I liked my orchestra teacher, so I decided that I really wanted to teach high school orchestra. Then when I arrived at Olivet, I really liked my piano teacher, so I decided that’s what I wanted to be. I used to joke with him that I was going to take his job. It didn’t quite happen like that, but I do have the job that he had!
I just really enjoy working in higher education. The students are starting to have a sense of what they’d like to do as a career, and I enjoy helping them work toward those goals.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR TEACHING STYLE?
Currently I teach music theory, aural skills, keyboard experiences, all the piano students working on their piano proficiency requirements, and I accompany the students for student recitals and juries. I want my students to feel comfortable with me, and I work hard to reach – and teach – everybody at their level. In general, I’m a nurturing and kind teacher, partly because that’s my personality and partly because that’s the kind of teacher that motivated me when I was their age.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO SERVE AS CHAIR OF THE ARTS AND HUMANITIES DEPARTMENT?
There are many programs and areas within the Arts and Humanities Department (music, visual arts, theatre, English, journalism, religion, philosophy, and world languages). Many of my responsibilities involve keeping them all organized and on task when it comes to the paperwork part of our jobs: getting course schedules in, turning in assessment and strategic plan documents, etc. I also help with the hiring of both full-time faculty and all of our music adjuncts. As chair, I’m the liaison between the administration and the faculty members of my department. I really feel that, ultimately, my job as chair is to be of service to the department and to help faculty members be the best they can with their own responsibilities.
WHAT IS THE FRIENDS OF THE ARTS PROGRAM?
I’m excited about the formation of the OC Friends of the Arts. Music, visual arts and creative writing faculty are working with the college’s marketing team to send out e-newsletters about activities and events in each of those areas. Anyone who has an interest in the arts can join the organization, whether they be campus folks, alumni or community members. I’m especially excited about the prospect of encouraging alumni and community members to offer their resources and talents to help us grow our arts programs.
WHY WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO ATTEND OC?
I know I’m biased, having been both a student here and now a professor, but I think OC is a great place to get a good education in a smaller environment. Students can get more individualized attention here and have opportunities as underclassmen that they wouldn’t get until their senior year at a bigger school.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO IN YOUR ROLE?
I love teaching, I love getting to know the students, and I love helping people. That really covers the most important parts of my job and the things I enjoy doing most.
WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU SHARE WITH STUDENTS?
I have to laugh, but the number one piece of advice I seem to give to my piano students the most is to slow down! Learning, especially for lessons or other skill-based classes, happens better when one isn’t rushing through things. Making mistakes in playing the piano only means that you have to go back and relearn things. It’s better to start slowly and train your brain carefully and accurately.
WHAT IS A LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I absolutely love all critters! I have cats, and I used to volunteer at a cat rescue and spay/neuter clinic, but I love all animals. I’m vegetarian and also don’t kill bugs. If I see one wandering around my office, I’ll either put it outside, or I’ll name it and just let it live out its life wandering around my office.
Learn more about the Arts and Humanities Department programs and opportunities for pianists at Olivet College by visiting campus or applying. Connect with the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7180 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find your fit as a Comet.