When Marsh Bindseil says he likes to be involved, it’s a classic
The third-year Music Education student plays trumpet in the Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble, has served on the Faculty of Music Students’ Council for two years, is on the Music Education Student Association (MESA), is club president of the Association for Baha'i Studies, sings in the London Unity Choir, plays in a jazz combo, and volunteers with the Junior Youth Empowerment Program.
He’s also the winner of several scholarships and awards, including the Beryl
Continuing Entrance Award (worth $64,000), the Alex and Cathy McKay Award,
Miller Thompson Scholarship, A.J. Ford Award and Donald McKellar Award.
Bindseil chose Western for several reasons: his brother was already
here; the Don Wright Faculty of Music has a strong reputation as a leader in music
education; there is an opportunity for guaranteed acceptance into the Faculty of Education; and the amount of his scholarship offer was higher than other universities.
“I enjoy being at Western and the Music Faculty a lot. I love to stay busy and give back
whenever I can,” he said.
One of the ways he gives back is through the Junior Youth Empowerment
Program, working at the neighbourhood level with youth aged 12-15.
“It is a critical
time in their lives when they are starting to grow up and become adults,” said Bindseil. “They have to make a lot of choices that will impact the course of their lives.”
Working with the program as an Animator, he talks with groups of youth about what they like and dislike about their neighbourhood, and helps them do grassroots community service projects while building a strong moral compass. Developing a strong sense of community, the program helps junior youth take charge of their own lives, through artistic and athletic activities. “You can develop the power of expression through all those means,” he said.
During the summer, Bindseil worked at this almost full time, giving young
message you can cope by being active and giving back. It’s a message he knows from
“In high school I was heavily involved in volunteer work, and did a lot of extracurricular activities (playing in every band and choir I could). I was inspired and motivated by my brother Geron, who is pursuing his doctorate degree at Western in medical physics. Both my parents passed away while I was in secondary school. They were the most dedicated parents one could ask for, and they raised us to be self-sufficient and independent.”
Another source of inspiration came from his grandfather, a Holocaust survivor: “My grandfather is Jewish and lived in Poland during World War II. He was a prisoner at Auschwitz, and his entire family perished in concentration camps. My grandfather, turning 92, taught me the value of hard work and perseverance in the face of adversity.
“I was also inspired by my high school music teachers. They shared their passion for music with me. I couldn’t see myself studying anything other than music. I love teaching and found I’m very natural at it.”
Bindseil started teaching as a co-op with a grade 9 class and conducted a brass
ensemble while still in high school. He was president of the music executive and co-
editor-in-chief of the yearbook, proving his points about being engaged and giving
In the music education program at Western, he is learning pedagogical
to build on his natural ability. “I’ve learned how to be creative – something that is
stressed in a lot of our classes. School can be boring, so you have to make it engaging
and interesting for students in a creative way.
“Teaching music provides so much opportunity to inspire people in a similar way that I was inspired. I’ve always had a desire to contribute to the betterment of my society and the world. Being a music teacher fits that niche in a way I can be passionate about.”