Fain Watson
Petersburg, TN

I'm Fain Watson from Petersburg and I'm one—one of Tennessee's Best!

I came to Middle Tennessee State University for the first time in summer 2005 for the Tennessee Governor's School for the Arts, and I absolutely loved it! I came here for the four-week session to study voice and was hooked. Governor's School was a really wonderful experience for me. I had so much fun that I couldn't stay away, so I decided to come to MTSU for my degrees in Music Industry and Vocal Performance. After I get a master's degree, my career goal is to be an opera singer but if that doesn't happen, I would really like to work in the music industry doing artists and repertoire (A&R), talent scouting, producing, or something similar to that

I couldn't have picked a better place than MTSU to learn everything I'll need to make both of those careers happen! I really think the quality of the education you get here for the price you pay is really the best. My professors have been great at getting me to be the best I can be. I have to work in order to succeed, but in a really good way that teaches me what it takes to make it in the performance world. I am really very lucky to study and learn under the faculty here. I know I am biased, but we really do have one of the best music departments in the region. I have had many faculty members who are just fabulous and are willing to help in any way they can. I just read a magazine the other day that said that MTSU was ranked as one of the best small music schools around. And they were comparing us to some really big names such as Belmont and other prestigious schools around the region. It makes me really proud to be a part of this university!

The School of Music here is also really close-knit. Even though there are 23,000 students on campus, I have made SO MANY friends. Just about everywhere I go outside of school, I see someone from either a current class or one I had in the past. The size of the student body at MTSU used to really intimidate me, but I quickly learned that there is nothing to fear on this campus.

Everyone here is very friendly and helpful. My very first day on campus, I was so lost I asked a random guy in the library how to get to the building my next class was in. I knew the name of the building, but not where. He started telling me where everything was. That is how people are on this campus—friendly and ready to help anyone.

I have both a music scholarship and the Hope Scholarship, which pay for almost all of my tuition. They have really been a blessing and allowed me to focus on my academic goals. I also have a great on-campus job that allows me to make money and study. I think having an on-campus job is one of the smartest things you can do while you're in school. First, it couldn't be any closer to where you are most of the day. You never have to leave campus to get to work! And second, working through college helps you balance two totally different worlds. You aren't yet totally into the working world, so you can learn and make some mistakes along the way. However, you are responsible for meeting the expectations of the job and your employer. You have a safety net as you learn how to work in a professional atmosphere. If you haven't ever worked before, working on campus is a great place to start. Your employer knows you are a student and that you have another job—school—as well. So even though my scholarships basically take care of my academic expenses, I work for a different kind of education.

I hope you will come see what MTSU is like for yourself. We have some of the best programs in the country for music, recording industry, concrete, nursing, and aerospace. Chances are, we have something you want to study, too. After you see what we have to offer, you'll want to be one of Tennessee's Best!