Music is the universal language of mankind."
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Ms. Dykeman has taught Arts in Michigan public schools for 30 years. She has taught Orchestra, German, Theatre, General Music, and English to hundreds of students in the greater Grand Rapids area. She has had over 40 years experience as a private studio string teacher. Ms. Dykeman was awarded the Michigan Band and Orchestra Association Teacher of the Year for the state of Michigan in 2019. She has been a three-time finalist (Michigan Teacher of the Year-Orchestra) for MSBOA as well as a finalist for teacher of the year for the Michigan Chapter of American String Teacher's Association (MASTA) and currently serves on the MASTA state board. She has been honored by Who's Who in American Teachers as one of the top Fine Art teachers in America (2005). In addition to receiving numerous string scholarships (college and post college), Ms. Dykeman was the recipient of the Opera Grand Rapids Betty Van Andel Scholarship.
Ms. Dykeman has also had the pleasure of conducting several summers at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and serving as an MSBOA string judge for the state of Michigan at both district and state levels for over 20 years. She has been a guest clinician, conductor and sectional coach for many schools in Michigan. ie. Ms. Dykeman has been a guest conductor for many MSBOA Middle School String Clinics, the East Tennessee Orchestra Association Junior Orchestra clinic (October 2010), Tecumseh School Orchestras (winter 2011) and Wayland Public High School Orchestra Clinic Day (2014). Ms. Dykeman has served on many community and state boards such as MASTA, Friends of the Opera and the Education Committee for Opera Grand Rapids. She has served on the MSBOA Alternative Styles String Committee and as the string representative for District X. In addition to teaching privately, guest conducting, and judging strings for MSBOA competitions, Ms. Dykeman is currently an adjunct faculty member at Hope College and works as a guest lecturer, outreach guest conductor and music education field placement employee.
Ms. Dykeman attended Hope College via a music/academic scholarship for her undergraduate degree in Music Education with an emphasis in cello performance. While at Hope, she studied cello with Dr. Robert Ritsema where she received the music/academic achievement award. It was during her time at Hope College, Ms. Dykeman also discovered her love for playing the violin. She went on to receive her Masters in Music Education from the University of Michigan where she studied cello with Jeffrey Solow. In addition to her Masters, Ms. Dykeman has taken post-graduate classes at Michigan State University and Boston University. She credits her love for teaching music to her first orchestra/private cello teacher, William Cridge.
Ms. Dykeman has enjoyed playing her traditional cello in various groups such as Westshore Symphony, Grand Rapids Symphony, Schenectady Symphony, Joia Trio and the Chancellor Flute and Bow Trio. Ms. Dykeman was also a regular member of Cornerstone UMC's praise band where she played her electric Cobra cello. In addition to playing Cobra cello, Ms. Dykeman has performed with her traditional cello at various events and churches around the greater Grand Rapids area. She has spent several summers working as the lower strings coach and middle school orchestra director at Knollcrest Music Camp at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ms. Dykeman has also volunteered many summers as a counselor/Cobra cellist for the Mark Wood Rock Orchestra Camp in Kansas City, Kansas.
In addition to playing her string instruments, Ms. Dykeman has performed in numerous community theatre productions and has sung several seasons in the chorus for Opera Grand Rapids.