MINOT, N.D. – When Joel Jones chose to take his studies to Minot State University, he could not have anticipated the shape his plans would ultimately take.

“I actually started out as an elementary ed. student, so I don’t really remember thinking of MSU in terms of a music degree,” the clarinetist said. “I did know a fair amount of people who went to Minot State, though, which was definitely a factor in my choice of university.”

Instead of entering a new school system as a teacher, now, Jones will be furthering his music studies at North Dakota State University, where he will earn his Master of Arts in Music Performance.

“There have been a lot of challenges here, but also chances to learn and try new things. All of which I believe has helped me be ready for this next step,” Jones said. “My entire degree changed while at MSU. I didn’t see this coming, but my love of music kept growing here, and thankfully there were many opportunities and professors to help me grow that passion.”

Originally from Houston, Texas, Jones made many lasting friendships with his fellow music majors and meaningful connections with his professors.

“I will miss the friends I have here a lot!” he said. “I have a lot of good memories from MSU. I think one of my favorites is when another music student and I first got Dr. Young (Charles Young, assistant professor of woodwinds and director of jazz studies) to laugh out loud when we made a joke.”


Jones spoke further on Young and what he has meant to him and his studies.

“Dr. Young has had a lot of impact on me,” he said. “I have really appreciated how remarkably well he teaches and how he challenged and encouraged me to grow as a musician. And his sense of humor! Taking lessons with him has been greatly beneficial for me, and I will miss our lessons together.”

The greatest takeaway that Jones would pass on to future students speaks to his warm personality and infectious readiness to build friendships with those around him.

“One thing I would like to encourage new students in would be to form study groups. In my experiences in the music department, study groups really helped us all not only learn our course material, but also form strong friendships.”

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 05/20/22   

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