Meet band director and music education alum Eric Gaudet

Written byElizabeth Rose-Arcuri

“One of the things I love most is getting students to really enjoy music with the hopes of developing a lifelong love of music— like really getting them to enjoy the process of making music. It’s exciting to teach them about that world.”

University of Louisiana at Lafayette music education alum Eric Gaudet
Eric Gaudet
Graduation Year
Class of 2014
Music Education
Thibodaux, La.

Where I'm From

I’m from Thibodaux, La., and decided to attend UL Lafayette because of the performance opportunities here.

Where I Am

I’m a middle school band director and professional musician.

Where I'm Going

I’m continuing to share my love of music with my students.

Eric Gaudet, ’14, is using his music education degree to share his love of music with students of all ages.

“One of the things I really enjoy is getting students to really enjoy music with the hopes of developing a lifelong love of music,” he said. “The thing I like the most is at the end of the concert and all of the kids are feeling really accomplished and they’re super excited and they can’t wait for the next time they get to perform.”

Eric is a band teacher at Edgar Martin Middle School in Lafayette during the school year. He spends his summers as the brass captain for the drum and bugle corps Louisiana Stars — an arrangement that he calls “the best of both worlds.”

“I really enjoy teaching middle school because, especially when they first get their instruments, there’s this awesome spark of interest and they’re so eager to start playing,” he said.

With high school and college-age students in the Louisiana Stars, Eric focuses on working through more challenging pieces of music, and then pairing their musical abilities with the more physically challenging experience of marching.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate Eric Gaudet directs the Louisiana Stars drum and bugle corps

Learning to Teach

Eric’s primary instrument is the trumpet, but music education majors have to learn every instrument and learn the theories and practice behind effective teaching.

“It was a lot because it was pretty much like double majoring because you have to do all the music courses and the education courses separately,” he said.

“We had to do three semesters of piano work and then we ended up also having to take classes to play all the instruments we would end up teaching — so I ended up taking courses on woodwinds, percussion, and brass. I also took a strings class to help boost my resume for future job searches.”

The focus on educational technology also benefited Eric.

“The idea that there’s always new stuff and you need to be checking it out was kind of ingrained in us,” he said. “Never feel like you’ve learned everything — always be a student.”

Eric’s become an effective teacher because of the preparation in the classroom combined with the range of performance experiences he had in school.

“In the music department, I got the opportunity to play in the top ensemble right away — so I got those awesome performance opportunities that I don’t think I would have gotten anywhere else,” he said.

At the University, Eric was in the marching band, jazz band, orchestra, wind ensemble, student brass quintet — and even a polka band in 2013.

Eric also performed concerts with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and Lafayette Concert Band, musicals with the Iberia Performing Arts League, wedding and holiday services at local churches, and at Festival International de Louisiane.

Outside of these ensembles, he gave private music lessons through local schools.

“Getting out into the community and not just staying in the University — I tried to really focus on that,” he said. “Not just sticking to my book work but also going out into the community and applying some of the stuff that I’m learning to real-world scenarios."

“Lafayette is a great city to be able to explore and really be involved in the world of education and music. That gave me extra practice before I got my first job.”

Getting involved in Lafayette’s active music community was transformative for Eric.

“My first year, I drove home to Thibodaux every weekend,” he said. “Then I got more involved with the city, and halfway through my sophomore year, I was like ‘'This is my new home away from home!’”

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