I am a Midwesterner with a passion for singing! Prior to moving to Philly to begin the Master of Music Therapy program at Temple University, I received a Bachelor of Arts in Music from Winona State University in Winona, Minnesota, where I studied classical vocal technique. I sang with the Winona State University Concert Choir and Chamber Ensemble and was featured as a student soloist for WSU’s annual Messiah Sing-In two years in a row. I currently enjoy singing with Philadelphia’s Singing City choir amidst studying popular music of various decades and genres in hopes of bringing the healing power of music to others as a Music Therapist. I’m excited to have the opportunity to empower students throughout Philly by giving them the tools they need to accomplish their musical goals!
When did you begin singing, and why?
I began singing when I was a freshman in High School because a few friends encouraged me to join choir with them. I had always wanted to try music-making, begging my mom when I was a child to take piano lessons or voice lessons or join a choir, but I never had the opportunity. I quickly fell in love and began taking private voice lessons and auditioning for musicals, and the rest is history!
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I have enough skills on the piano to get by and I’m currently learning guitar as a personal project. The next instrument I hope to learn is the harp!
What are your personal goals as a musician?
My personal goals as a musician revolve around becoming the most versatile and creative musician I can be in order to reach the various needs of clients as a Music Therapist! I’m currently focusing on building my improvisation skills and exploring all different types of percussive and melodic instruments. I hope to continue to unleash my creativity as playing instruments becomes second nature.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
Most vocal techniques consist of gradual habits that are learned over time, but I do remember the first time I ever heard of lifting my soft palette! My middle school music class was singing and my music teacher told us to sing as if we were yawning, with the back of our throat stretched open. I now find this to be one of the most essential techniques in classical singing!
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
Go into every performance with this mindset: “If I mess up, I mess up. The real work has been in the past few months of preparation, and there’s nothing more I can do now!”
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
Being able to sing in tune – especially when I’m nervous – has been a huge challenge of mine since I began singing. I remember my first voice teacher constantly stopping me and asking if I knew a note wasn’t right or not. It was so frustrating! After learning how to play the piano and taking music theory classes in college, I’ve come a long way.
What is your biggest musical achievement?
No matter how many solos I get or special choirs I’m a part of, I will forever consider my first lead in a musical, playing “Cinderella” in Into the Woods when I was 17, my biggest musical achievement. I was never a girl that got solos in High School, so I was shocked when I got the part! The music was challenging, but I worked hard and fell in love with the art of solo singing. I don’t think I’d be where I am today if it weren’t for that experience!
Favorite thing about teaching?
I love helping to empower students through sharing their voice. Using your voice is a special and vulnerable experience, and I love watching students grow in ways to communicate through the universal language of singing!
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Being a musician, whether you’ve been practicing your instrument for decades or are taking your first lesson, is being in a constant state of learning! As soon as you accept that perfection doesn’t exist when it comes to making music, you’ll learn more.
Personal music projects:
I currently sing with Singing City here in Philadelphia and perform with them every few months! I’m also hoping to get back to performing in musicals very soon.