Molly Countermine: “Sing loud, work hard, live happy”

Video posted December 5, 2016 in News by Jingling Zhang


Molly Countermine enjoys the role of being a professor, musician, mother and wife.

She has been teaching human development and family studies courses at Penn State since 1998. However, teaching lectures is not her only love.

TW9sbHkgQ291bnRlcm1pbmUgc2F5cyB0aGlzIHNpZ24gaW4gaGVyIGhvbWUgbW90aXZhdGVzIGhlciBldmVyeSBkYXkuMolly Countermine says this sign in her home motivates her every day. Photo by Molly Countermine

She performs every Sunday with her “music soulmate,” Ted McCloskey, at American Ale House and every Tuesday with Maxwell Strait at Phryst in State College.

Countermine says she truly loves her music. What she can deliver to others is important to her. She says that music is a more profound way to express emotions than mere words. She says that whatever people need to feel, she helps them feel through her music.

Her husband, Rene Witzke, plays the bass guitar in Maxwell Strait. She says they met each other in the band, music brought them together and now they are happily married with three children.                  

Countermine says she considered doing music professionally but couldn’t give up having a family.
“Traveling away from my children; not being able to go out to grocery store; not being recognized. That life isn’t appealing to me,” she says. She says her husband tells her that she never actually tried to make in the business.

The connection between her being a musician and teaching is sharing her point of view with others.

“Many students come into my class just because they watched me perform at Phryst,” She says.

Countermine says she is passionate about the material she teaches. All of her classes are about life, such as interpersonal relationships, childhood and parenthood. Students learn what they will go through in the future from her. She bonds with her students and says she is willing to work with them as long as they are willing to put in effort.

She also receives a lot of positive feedbacks from her students.

“She is so entertaining and fascinating to listen to, and she has lots of great examples for each concept that she taught us,” Yaoxi Zhang says about Countermine's lecture. She took her class in spring semester 2016.

“Countermine is the person who explains the reasons why we should look at the world in many different ways," Zhang says.

Whether she is a mom or a teacher or a musician, Countermine says she believes — “life is about caring for others and been cared for; Being honest even it’s hard to be honest.”

Audio: 'Inside'

Molly Countermine is the featured vocalist on this track by Maxwell Strait.

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