When Lia Bendix graduates on Dec. 15 with a Bachelor of Music Education degree, it won’t be her first diploma.
Bendix, originally from Cleveland Heights, Ohio, earned a degree in French and francophone studies from Carleton College in Minnesota before transferring to the University of Colorado Boulder to pursue music education.
“In my experience, music classes are amazing places to build community within a school, often with people that you would never encounter during the rest of the day, and to build non-cognitive skills such as perseverance, teamwork and leadership,” she says.
On top of the double degree, Bendix will be able to add another accolade: Outstanding Graduating Student for the College of Music.
“I am honored! When I heard about the honor, I was very flattered that my work and effort had been acknowledged in such an official way,” Bendix says.
A longtime member of the college’s top choral ensemble, the University Singers, Bendix has focused her studies on choral music education—an area about which she’s deeply passionate.
“Music is often a respite for students,” Bendix explains. “Children who maybe don't feel like they have a place in the rest of the school can feel like they belong in a music class where they can express themselves and connect emotionally to a piece of music.”
Bendix’s teachers say that passion shines through.
“Lia distinguished herself immediately upon entering our program through her commitment to teaching, her dedication to learning and her openness to new ideas,” says Assistant Professor of Music Education Leila Heil, who worked with Bendix in several music education courses and served as her academic advisor.
“She demonstrated a high degree of leadership and initiative, both at CU and in the community.”
After graduation, Bendix plans to substitute teach in the area before looking for choral or general music teaching positions in the Denver, Milwaukee and Cleveland areas.