Charlene McLaughlin, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2022


Charlene Hincks McLaughlin (WLA, Mundelein College 1960 Class Photograph)

Interview Transcript


Charlene McLaughlin, Interview with Melissa Newman, 2022


Charlene Hincks McLaughlin was a Music Education major and graduated from Mundelein in 1960. She grew up on the south side of Chicago and had always loved music. She lived on the top floor of the Skyscraper building during her freshman year but commuted the other three years. It was during her commute up to campus that she got her class readings done and was able to manage her time more effectively. The class Charlene remembers most from Mundelein is her music theory class. Charlene played the piano and organ at Mundelein and recalls spending a lot of her free time practicing. Charlene remembers the mandatory meetings for students in Hackman Hall (the Skyscraper auditorium) and how the music students would have to play the pieces they had been working on for class at these meetings. Charlene reflects on her time as a teacher after Mundelein and how important music is to children. She believes in incorporating poetry, dancing, history, social studies, discipline, and math into music. After taking a break from teaching to have her four sons, Charlene went back to work as a music teacher for kindergarten to junior high-aged students.

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Date Created

January 27, 2022


Charlene Hincks McLaughlin was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. Growing up, Charlene had always loved music, and started playing at the age of seven. She knew she wanted to be a teacher, and her high school English teacher helped her decide on Mundelein College due to its music education program.

Charlene majored in music education and described class sizes being very small: sometimes only four students in a class. This was one reason for her developing close friendships with fellow music education majors Mona Cahill and Audrey Cihlar, who she is still in contact with today. She spent much of her free time studying or practicing the piano and organ, so she was not involved in any on-campus activities or jobs.

After her time at Mundelein, Charlene got a Masters degree from DePaul, had four sons, and taught music to students from kindergarten to junior high for many years. In 2006, she and her husband of 61 years moved to Fort Worth, Texas.

Interviewer Biography

Melissa Newman was a graduate student at Loyola University Chicago and a graduate assistant at the Women and Leadership Archives in 2020-2022.

Time Log

[0:00 - 5:00]

Introductions, family background, how she got to Mundelein, what she studied there, and life after Mundelein.

[5:00 - 10:00]

Classes she took, impact of music on her life, instruments she plays, and her job after Mundelein.

[10:00 - 15:00]

Mundelein prepared her for her job and small class sizes at Mundelein.

[15:00 - 20:00]

Music department, faculty, homework, and on-campus housing.

[20:00 - 25:00]

On-campus housing continued, commuting, job while in school, Hackman Hall organ, and organs in general.

[25:00 - 30:00]

Hackman Hall, morning transit, and completing coursework.

[30:00 - 35:00]

Piper Hall as a library and meetings in Hackman Hall.

[35:00 - 40:00]

Performances in Hackman Hall and losing her music sheets during a performance.

[40:00 - 45:00]

Education department being friendly and Mundelein then and now.

[45:00 - 50:00]

Importance of music, picking Mundelein for the small classes, and getting married the same month as graduation.

[50:00 - 52:05]

Wrap up.


Cahill, Mona, CM 0-5

Carson’s, CM 15-20

Catechism, CM 5-10

Chicago, CM 0-5, CM 5-10, CM 40-45, CM 50-55

Chicago Heights, CM 5-10

Chicago Loop, CM 20-25

Cihlar, Audrey, CM 0-5, CM 35-40, CM 40-45, CM 45-50

DePaul University, CM 0-5, CM 10-15

Emerald Isle, CM 45-50

Facebook, CM 40-45

Fort Worth, Texas, CM 0-5, CM 20-25

Hackman Hall, CM 20-25, CM 25-30, CM 30-35, CM 40-45

Halsted Street, CM 15-20

Illinois, CM 45-50

Lake Michigan, CM 25-30

Longwood Academy, CM 0-5

Loyola Union, CM 25-30

Loyola University Chicago, CM 25-30, CM 40-45

Mundelein College, CM 0-5, CM 5-10, CM 10-15, CM 15-20, CM 20-25, CM 25-30, CM 30-35, CM 35-40, CM 40-45, CM 45-50, CM 50-55

Nick (grandson), CM 40-45

Notre Dame, CM 0-5

Orff Method of Music, CM 10-15

Palatine, CM 0-5

Piper Hall, CM 30-35

Sheridan Road, CM 30-35

Skyscraper (Building), CM 40-45

St. Patrick’s Day, CM 45-50

Texas, CM 40-45

Texas Christian University, CM 20-25

Women and Leadership Archives, CM 30-35


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