When did you begin singing, and why?
My parents claim I was born singing. They’re both musicians, and growing up in a household filled with music taught me to be a kinder and more creative person. Music brings people together; once I learned that, I was hooked!
What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I play enough piano to jam out to my favorite Carole King tunes and write my own music (maybe without quite as much piano flair as Carole’s). I also play the flute pretty well- once a band nerd, always a band nerd!
What are your personal goals as a musician?
My goal as a musician is to stay true to who I am and what I love to do. The music world is full of differing opinions and ideas, but as long as I’m doing what I do, the way I do it, I’ll feel successful.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?
My voice teacher from college loves to remind me that in a lesson during my senior year I threw myself to the floor dramatically because singing had gotten too easy!
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?
My first teachers of music were my parents, and my mom always used to get on my case about imitating other singers. I wanted to sound just like Avril Lavigne, Canadian accent and all. Years later, I know this was the best advice she could have given me. I now firmly believe that each singer’s unique voice is their greatest asset!
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
I was cast as a lead in an opera my sophomore year of college. I was the youngest cast member, and one of very few music theatre majors in a room full of opera majors. I almost cried while singing my aria for the first time in front of the rest of the cast because I was so nervous about making a mistake. Learning to trust my training and be down with making a mistake or two along the way was super important for me.
What is your biggest musical achievement?
There are plenty of “on paper” achievements I am proud of; performances I’ve given and projects I’ve completed. But to me, my biggest achievement has been learning to love my voice. To sing like me and not like anyone else, and to believe I have a voice worth hearing.
Favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is watching a student find their voice and their musical confidence. Music is a gift that is available to everyone, and helping a student find where they fit in the world of music is a joy!
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
For young singers specifically, I wish someone would have told me when I was young that if it hurts, it’s wrong! Singing should never be painful, and there’s a healthy way to sing in any style.
Personal music projects:
My musical duo is called The Gender Gnomes, we’re on all the streaming platforms.