Allen Madison

Allen Madison

Allen Madison is a music major from Naperville, IL

Hometown: Naperville, IL

Year: Expected graduation: 2024

What did you want to be when you were growing up? Are you pursuing that as a major, or have you taken another path?
I always knew I was going to be a violinist growing up. I have taken this as my major, and I don't regret any of it!

What is your major (and/or minor) and why did you decide on this course of study?
I’m pursuing a B.A. in music with a focus on violin performance. I've always wanted to be a professional violinist, and this was the best way to try to become one.

What has been something you have found pleasantly surprising about your experience at NIU?
The people are super nice. Really, I haven't met too many rude people.

How did the CHANCE Program help with your transition into NIU?
The CHANCE Program gave me an opportunity to go to a big university, even though my high school ACT score did not meet the normal expectations of these big schools.

How have you connected with other students to study for classes, meet new people or form new friendships?
Yes. I have met many friends of all majors at NIU.

Allen Madison playing violin

Are you involved in any student organizations, mentoring programs or extra-curricular activities? If so, which ones? How have they added to your experience as a Huskie?
I am in the NIU Philharmonic Orchestra and the NIU Chinese Music Ensemble.

What NIU offices, departments or resources have helped you feel safe, supported and successful? And how?
The main music office has helped me a lot in the past, especially when it comes to questions I have or anything to do with recitals or advising.

Who has been one of your favorite instructors/professors and why? What course did they teach?
Mark Snyder is a great teacher. I had him for my rock history class, and he really cares about what he teaches.

How have you benefited by attending class regularly?
Attending class regularly makes all the difference. When you attend class regularly, your teacher knows that you care. There is almost no possible way to fail a class if you attend regularly.

Where is your favorite spot on campus or in the community? Why are you drawn to it?
I like Altgeld Hall because it looks like a castle.

What advice would you give to a student who is researching colleges to apply to?
Apply to a college that speaks to you, don't just follow your friends. You will make friends regardless of what college you go to. I came to NIU by myself and have met so many great souls along the way.

Why is a college education important to you?
My parents never got to finish college until they were in their 30s, and they worked hard to make sure we could go if we wanted to. I've always planned on graduating college, so I'm glad I was able to go.

What strategies do you use to manage your time between the responsibilities of school, work, friends and family?
I try to see my people as often as possible, even if the timeframe is a little bit longer than I want it to be. It makes it easy to see my people because my hometown is only 40 minutes away from DeKalb.

How do you stay informed about events and services that are available on campus?
I usually get weekly emails that inform about what is going on around campus and at NIU as a whole.

What do you do to relax or recharge?
I simply play my violin or make songs in order to relax and recharge!

Please tell us about your job and hobbies.
I am a violinist, producer and engineer. I play violin for clubs, weddings, schools, wine events, etc. I record rappers, singers and other instrumentalists. I just love making music.

Is there anything else you'd like to share about your NIU Huskie story?
Go Huskies!

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