Finding Greatness: Joey Bronner

Author: News Bureau
Posted: Monday, September 7, 2020 12:00 AM
Categories: School of Aviation | Students | Pressroom | Finding Greatness | School of Arts and Letters

Macon, GA


Joey Bronner, a church music director and private percussion and piano instructor, is pursuing MGA’s Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Musicianship to take his career to a new level.  

 Full Name: Joey Bronner.

 Age: 35.

Hometown & Residence: Macon. 

High School: Westside High School, where he was part of the marching band.

Employment: Bibb Mt. Zion Baptist Church music director; private percussion/piano instructor.

Degree Objective: Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Musicianship

Class Rank: Junior.

Activities: Jazz Knights, the MGA jazz band. 

Career Goals: “I hope to expand my career as a working musician. I have been blessed to perform, teach, and share my passion and gift on several platforms. I hope to have more opportunities. I am currently focusing on increasing my value by enhancing my home studio capabilities, music project networking, and virtual teaching as we all navigate this virtual and online world of work.” 

He chose Middle Georgia State University because … “Primarily its location. I graduated from Westside High School and started at Toccoa Falls College in 2002. Due to my father's untimely passing in 2003, I did not complete my bachelor's degree in music performance. I have been a professional musician since then. I have attended different musician seminars and specialty schools like Atlanta Institute of Music and Media (AIMM). I completed AIMM's drum program in 2009. I want to complete my bachelor's degree because I believe this achievement can open more doors for me to advocate for and make a living using my passion. One day I was driving on I-475 and saw a billboard advertising the contemporary musicianship degree. I researched the program and thought it was affordable and, because I live only one exit away from the school, I felt this was the time to return and complete my degree. So I enrolled at Middle Georgia State University.”

The greatest thing he discovered about Middle Georgia State was … “The professors and instructors in the music department. Dr. Rebecca Lanning, who is the director of the music program, is encouraging and full of knowledge and wisdom for her students. I'm thankful for my piano Instructor, Dr. Christian Kim. My skills as a pianist/keyboardist have grown tremendously since I started my applied lessons with him. I appreciate all the professors I've had the opportunity to work with in the music department. They all instruct with the care of good parents trying to make sure we not only understand concepts and techniques but also how these practices will be applied in the real world. I commend that kind of instruction.” 

His greatest academic experience as a Middle Georgia State student has been … “Simply put, learning. As I give thought to this question, I honestly have found that I really appreciate the experience of learning, being enlightened, or at least engaged in a different way of understanding life. I'm approaching college differently than I did in 2002. In the past, I have excelled academically in terms of grades but I was not always engaged in learning and making the information that I received useful to my life. Naturally, my music classes intrigue me. I also enjoy reading and writing, so I have really enjoyed my literature classes. I'm currently in a creative writing class that I love. In the past I have struggled to connect with history and sometimes the sciences. I completed intro biology last semester. It was the first fully online course I've ever taken, and I really enjoyed the class. I believe that I enjoyed it because I approached it in the posture of a student seeking to get understanding, not just trying to get a good grade. I'm currently taking a U.S. history course. I must admit that I was dreading this course, but it has been interesting. The information being delivered is quite different from what I have been taught in past years. The class is very thought-provoking and I'm enjoying learning. To me, learning is a blessing.”

To him, greatness means … “Maximizing your gifts and using them to be a blessing. We all have something we enjoy. Sometimes we don't engage our passions because of fear or because we feel isolated or misunderstood. I believe that identifying and building upon passion while aligning that passion with positive purpose begins to reveal the greatness that is within each of us. Passions may change and, as we build upon them, reveal new gifts to be developed and used for positive change. Greatness is not a one-time achievement. It is the result of what we persistently practice. Identify passion, develop gifts, institute positive change, and be great.”  

In five years … “I want to continue performing. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed traveling; however, I pray that things clear up and as they do, I would be interested in playing outside of the country. I want to acquire more studio performance opportunities. I am blessed to have a small home studio. I have been able to use it to collaborate with several people for different projects. I hope to do that more. MGA is helping me to organize and expand my personal philosophy and approach to music. I'm learning about music from different perspectives - for example, music therapy and music rehabilitation, which is stretching my perspective beyond performance. I hope to be able to advocate for music education. As I continue to learn about the different benefits of music and its value throughout the world, I would like to do my part in making that value known.”