Alumni Highlights: Carly (Huhn) Schieffer

Carly (Huhn) SchiefferName: Carly (Huhn) Schieffer
Major at ISU: Music Education
Graduation Year: 2006
Hometown: Nevada, IA
Current Residence: Cedar Rapids, IA






What were you involved in during your time at ISU:
I was involved in Iowa State Singers, Symphony Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Cantemus, Symphonic Band, Stars Over VEISHEA "Fiddle on the Roof," marching band, pit orchestra, Sigma Alpha Iota, Esprit de Corps learning community, residence life, and Cru campus ministry.

What do you currently do for a living:
I serve as adjunct faculty at Mount Mercy University which includes music education methods courses for both majors and non-majors as well as supervising music student teachers. I also serve as the conference chair for the Iowa Music Educators Professional Development Conference. I lead weekly early childhood music classes. This summer I am stepping into the director of the Kodály Institute at Mount Mercy University where I will teach Level I Pedagogy and Music Literature. My husband and I are also licensed foster parents.

Can you share a particularly interesting or inspiring story that occurred in your career?
My first teaching position was in an Indian Ocean island halfway around the world (Mauritius, a tropical island where the dodo bird became extinct!). I taught at an international school with a student population from 14 different countries. This was a very formative experience for me as I was immediately immersed in a diverse group of students. Walking around recess I would hear many different languages being spoken. I also learned how to use music to teach English--and picked up quite a few French phrases as that was the secondary language spoken!

Are there other ways that you participate in your community and/or hot to engage as a Citizen Artist?
Cedar Rapids has a lot of opportunities to perform. I have sung in Chorale Midwest, performed in Music Man in Concert, Carmen with Cedar Rapids Opera, Rodgers & Hammerstein in Concert, Follies as a singer/danger, the Sound of Music with Theatre Cedar Rapids, Titanic with Revival Theatre Company, the Verdi Requiem with Orchestra Iowa, Tosca with Cedar Rapids Opera, and currently Carmina Burana with Orchestra Iowa May of 2024. I also sing on a worship team at my church. I have played the horn in my church’s orchestra as well as with the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band.

How did your time at ISU prepare you for your career?
The tours and study abroad opportunities offered allowed me to discover the joy of traveling. I went on the Iowa State Singers tour to Sweden, Estonia, Latvia, and Finland the summer after my freshman year. The summer after my junior year I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. Having those experiences let me consider the possibility of teaching abroad.

What was your favorite class while you were at ISU? Why?
I enjoyed the ensembles, but Dr. Munsen's music education methods were eye-opening. I entered the university believing I would become a band teacher but then discovered the joy of elementary music.

How was your involvement in music and theatre beneficial in different parts of your life?
The friendships formed were so fun! Now that I teach on a college campus I find myself remembering different people and classes about my time at ISU. I always said Music Hall had a "small-campus" atmosphere because I was known by each of the music professors.

Any words of wisdom for current or prospective students?
There are a lot of future job possibilities with a music degree! Your career doesn't have to look like what you had always expected.