My interview with Dr. Helvering took place at the church at which he is the musical director. In our interview we talked about how he came into the field of music, how he came to teach at Westminster, about his work for his church and about his like and work as a composer. Dr. Helvering spoke of how he sort of fell into music in college. Music was not his first major while in college and he has the realization that music was something that he greatly enjoyed. Like many teachers Dr. Helvering is at Westminster thanks to another member of the faculty, whom he asked about open positions. Now Dr. Helvering is an adjunct professor of Music Theory at Westminster, meaning that he doesn’t work every semester. He often teaches Musicianship II and has a very different learning environment which was discussed at the interview as well. During the interview we also spoke about the activities he does as a music director. Dr. Helvering talked about how he has a lot of talented children in the choir who will volunteer to play instruments for masses. And lastly, we spoke of his work as a composer, the pieces he is most proud of , his favorite works and his own compositional style.
This interview with Douglas Helvering was the first interview that I ever conducted. It was very nerve-wracking for me as it was not only my first interview but also an assignment for a class – I had to do well. I prepared, what I believed to be, a large number of questions for the interview however, after about 10 minutes all of the questions that I had prepared were asked and we still had at least 20 minutes left to speak. Because of that most of the questions that I asked in my interview were follow-up questions to Dr. Helvering’s statements. This led to the interview being much more of a conversation as we went on. He would answer something and it would spark a question which would spark another and so on.
This only problem that I really had with our interview was the fact that it was disorganized. Because my prepared questions were fully answered by the 10 minute mark and the interview became more of a conversation, it also became very disorganized. My prepared questions were in a specific order and broken down into different aspects of Dr. Helvering’s life. Because I was thinking off the top of my head, the questions that I asked did not always follow a logical order and I wish that I could have been more prepared in order for the interview to have more flow and consistency.
I’m truly glad to have experienced this interview and very happy to have learned more about one of my favorite professors from my time at Westminster. I hope that the next time that I find myself interviewing someone, I remember this experience and I am more prepared and more realistic about how long it takes to answer certain questions.