Davien Watkins (Student)

Davien Watkins, pictured with his trombone in a performance venue.

Davien Watkins can fondly recall finding his love of music in middle school and high school while growing up in Ridgeland. His music teachers, he said, taught him what he needed to know to be successful.

Now Watkins, a new 2017 graduate of the MSU College of Education’s music education program, is ready to pass his love of music on to the next generation.

“I want to give any child that comes into my band room the gift of music like I got and teach it to them to make them a better person,” Watkins said. “My goal is to work with middle schoolers and beginners. I want to see the look on their faces when they finally learn to play something. That’s the most gratifying thing ever.”

As a beginner, Watkins chose to play the trombone because it fit well with his “tall and lanky” build. He stuck with the instrument through high school and played it in the Famous Maroon Band at MSU. However, because of the music education program, he can play each major instrument and teach the craft to aspiring musicians.

Watkins said he has enjoyed his student teaching experiences in Mississippi schools and he wants to stay and improve music education in his home state.

“Student teaching has been one big whirlwind after another,” Watkins said. “I’ve found that I’m more lenient, but I can be strict with my kids when I need to. It’s great knowing that I am graduating with the tools to be successful. I may not know what the situation will be, but I know that my teachers at MSU have prepared me for anything I could possibly see. I learned from the best.”

During his first visit to Mississippi State, Watkins said he “fell in love” with the campus when he saw the Drill Field. Once he arrived as a student, he met some of his best friends in that same location while playing for the Famous Maroon Band at The Drill to kick off the school year.

“My graduation cap says, ‘I get by with a little help from my friends,’” Watkins said. “I wouldn’t be in the spot I am now without them. Being in the marching band is one of the best things I could have ever done. I met my best friends and worked with really great band directors.”

After many years performing in marching and performance bands, Watkins will now find himself on the other side of the director’s podium, helping his students perform to their best ability in order to help the entire group reach a common goal.

“Everybody will be different, but as long as you can get everybody to unify under one thing, whether that’s winning state championships or getting a superior rating, you can get everybody to focus and accomplish great things,” he said.