Greencastle-Antrim music teacher receives doctorate

Staff Writer
Echo Pilot
Greencastle-Antrim Middle School instrumental music teacher, Dr. Eric Plum, shares his love of music with, from left, eighth-graders Corey Mowen and Cora LaPlante, and sixth-grader Larson Thomas, in the school's band room.

Greencastle-Antrim Middle School music teacher Eric Plum was awarded his doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Shenandoah University in August 2015. This accomplishment was completed in four years while working full time as a teacher, working as a professional musician and raising a young family.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Plum was hired as an instrumental teacher at the local middle school in 1999. Looking for a new challenge, Plum decided to pursue his doctoral degree and to stretch beyond his music background and study organizational leadership. But his background in music studies and his career experience were very helpful in his new pursuit.

“Playing an instrument and the struggle that goes along with mastering music became something that has shaped my life and career,” said Plum.

“I have been able to negotiate many of life's obstacles due to a few concepts that all musicians learn. These concepts include, but are not limited to, struggle, the cultivation of creativity, long-term goal setting, grit, communication, and organizational skills. All of these skills are neatly packaged in a rigorous, quality music education program.

“As an educator, I often see school students struggle and/or give up early when they meet a challenge. Through the participation in instrumental music, it is my hope that my students experience what it means to struggle yet succeed in a safe environment. It is my hope, through my own pursuits, that I have inspired my instrumental music students not be afraid to reach for goals.”