Victoria Celli lives for the “lightbulb moments” – when you teach a skill or present a piece of new information, and your students finally grasp it. You can see that light of understanding beam forth, shining with enthusiasm and the joy of discovery.
She sees it in the faces of elementary school children in Chenango Forks, where she is doing observations as part of her Music Education degree. Watching them pick up a guitar for the first time is a gift.
“When I show them something and they get it – I could have that impact throughout my life,” she said of her decision to seek a career in teaching.
Victoria was around their age when she first became involved in music; her parents started her on the violin in third grade. She is still focused on the violin – it’s her main instrument at SUNY Broome – but also has picked up the piano, guitar, cello and ukulele.
“I’ve always found it fun and really helpful,” she said of playing her many instruments.
In music, practice makes perfect – and so, too, in higher education. SUNY Broome is actually Victoria’s third school; she tried SUNY Delhi and SUNY Oneonta, but couldn’t find the right fit. Perhaps, in part, that stemmed from her decision to try a general Liberal Arts major, rather than consider her true passion in music.
“I’m one of those people who want to try everything,” she said. “I decided to jump into this and thankfully, it worked.”
Victoria Celli has truly found herself at SUNY Broome – as a musician, mentor and leader. A native of Delhi, she is a Resident Assistant in the Student Village, which inspires her on a daily basis to expand her comfort zone and connect with people from a range of backgrounds.
“I’ve always wanted to be the person somebody could talk to,” she said.
In addition to connecting with her fellow RAs and music students, she also has forged bonds with her professors – from Heather Worden, Peter Sicilian and Julia O’Connell in the music program to her private violin teacher Amy Christian and dance instructor Allison Ellis.
“My professors show genuine care. It means a lot; they’re my parents away from home,” she said.
Her favorite class, perhaps understandably, is orchestra. “For two hours, we get to play fun songs and then we give a performance at the end of the semester,” she explained.
Outside of the classroom, when she isn’t helping her peers as an RA or honing her skills as a musician, she likes to lift heavy objects. It turns out that Victoria is a Crossfit aficionada, and her deadlift is currently around 230 pounds. It’s a great stress-reliever, she said, and useful when it comes to moving a cello.
She was recently accepted into SUNY Oswego, the next step on her journey to her own music classroom. Looking back, she describes her SUNY Broome experience as “amazing.”
“I’ve had rough spots, but I couldn’t ask for a better restart,” she said. “It’s been a great experience to kick-start my next chapter.”