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A Musical Mentor

In 2008 I moved to Springfield, Missouri to attend college at a large university. After floundering, I rethought my decision and began taking classes at a community college instead. It was here that I met Rick Haegg, who taught two of my guitar classes.

Rick graduated from Drury University and received his master’s degree in music therapy. I was excited because I had dreamed of having a career involving music, but I didn’t know music therapy existed. Up to this point, I felt lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do and felt as if I was failing at everything I tried. Rick told me every day that he saw what a great person I was. He told me that I would make a great music therapist and that I was going to achieve great things in my life.

I eventually began taking private guitar lessons with Rick at his home. He continued to encourage me and help me grow into not only a better musician but also a better person. He showed me how to love life and appreciate all of the little things. With Rick’s help I was accepted into Drury University in 2013.

Sadly, in November 2014, Rick passed away after battling pancreatic cancer. Rick was one of the greatest people to come into my life. He helped me find my place in the world and gave me something to strive for and work hard for. When I start to doubt myself or feel like classes are too difficult, I just stop and think about Rick’s many kind words of encouragement. If a mentor is defined as someone who gives help or advice to a less experienced person, Rick Haegg met and exceeded that definition.

Zach Bohnert ‘16

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