Declan Jones is a face you’ve probably seen, running across campus with some sort of instrument in hand, and a smile on his face. Declan is a music education major, while a graduating senior in May, he will return in the Fall to finish out the education department’s five year program, to earn his masters.
While Declan is a Jersey boy attending school in New York, something you may not know is that Declan lived in Ireland for eight years after being born in Jersey City. “I have a lot of memories from growing up! I can remember the schools I was going to, the few friends I had, playing in this big open fields. Though they may have only seemed big then. I’ve only gone back twice since I’ve moved here, but I’ll be going Back in March for St. Patrick’s day!”
Music is another big part of Declan’s life, something you may have already guessed with the music education major. Declan plays a plethora of instruments, including guitar and piano. “I study guitar and Piano here with Jay Azzolina and Diane Guernsey. Before college I taught myself the guitar with the help of my dad and my high school teacher encouraged me to do the same. With piano. I started formal study of instruments here and have since picked up on some trumpet, French horn, and even the triangle for the community orchestra!”
“Post college I want to continue making music in anyway I can. Be it performing, arranging, composing, or curating, I just want to stay involved. I think going into Music Education will allow me to do this while also helping younger musicians do the same, and that is something I am passionate about. I want music and learning it to be as accessible as it can possibly be.” Declan’s interest in music has blossomed in college, with the help of professors and coaches like Jay Azzolina, Diane Guernsey, Joengeun Yom,Dr. Jerry Kerlin, and Dr. Olivier Fluchaire.
While professors have guided him, his own drive and passion for music has led him to other extracurriculars such as MVL Radio,“Before I came to Manhattanville, I think it was accepted students day, I ran into the folks at MVL Radio and fell in love with the station.” Ever since Declan has dedicated much of his time at Manhattanville to MVL Radio. After four years of dedication, he has become the club’s president and station manager. Declan is also a member of Manhattanville College’s chapter of the National Association for Music Educators, or MCNAfME for short.
Declan chose to go to Manhattanville not only because of these extracurriculars that won his heart, but also because of the school’s size. “It’s nice to be in classes of 7 to 10 people, it’s not hard to have your voice heard or have your questions answered. That and it’s nice to have but a two minute commute from my room to Brownson! Leaves time to get a cup of Coffee before class” I think Declan speaks on behalf of all coffee addicts for why they may love the school.
Declan is appreciative of Manhattanville, and the journey he has been on as a student, and a person, while attending school here. “I’m going to miss a lot of Manhattanville actually. Despite its issues, it has provided me with a wealth of resources, ideas, and opportunities to further myself and carve a path for my life after college.”
Despite the guidance of professors and parents, Declan is appreciative of more then just that. “I’m really not sure how successful I would have been at school if it weren’t for the help and support of my friend Brandon Florich. I met him my freshman year here and he’s been my best friend ever since. I couldn’t ever thank him enough.”