Professors you love

John Little


Lessons of a lifetime

By Lara Brittain Baker ('93)

"Just a minute" rings out in a clear tenor voice in my memory, as I'm sure it must for all previous students of Dr. John Little.

As a timid freshman, I knocked on his door, unsure of who or what was inside. However, true to his word in just a minute the door creaked open and a voice student bounded out. I stepped carefully into his office and was at once stunned and concerned by the creative clutter surrounding the dapper gentleman inside.

"He taught me how to find my own voice and to value what it had to say."

For half an hour twice a week, Dr. Little took more than just a minute with me.

Photo of Professor John Little giving voice lesson to JMU student Emily Foster
In this 2004 photo, Professor Little coaches JMU student Emily Foster.

This calm man with his silly puns and wonderful sense of perspective was the person who got me through JMU. He was patient when my brain was full. He was content to be in the background, but he was always listening. Dr. Little listened to my voice whether I was singing for joy or crying with exhaustion. He taught me how to find my own voice and to value what it had to say.

My voice and my spirit got stronger and more confident with each passing year. It took hours of work, and four years later I bounded out of his office and into a job. I am now a choir director passing on the voice lessons and life lessons of Dr. John Little. "Just a minute" will last me a lifetime.

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Published: Monday, February 10, 2014

Last Updated: Tuesday, January 26, 2021

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