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I have many different wishes and dreams to fulfill in my life. Some that I’m not even sure about yet. I love to sing. I love to perform. My life must incorporate these two. For years now, I’ve had this wish to work on a cruise ship. I’ve always been pretty fascinated with traveling, so to me, this seems like the ideal situation. I’d be able to perform and be paid, and I’d have the opportunity to wake up in a new country each morning. However, this is not something I want to spend my life doing. I’d take maybe half a year to a year for this endeavor. Another dream I’ve always had is, of course, Broadway. Each Christmas since I was a young girl, my family and I would go to New York to visit family and see one Broadway show. I am so in love with the city. I’d like to give myself one year there. I know it doesn’t seem like a lot of time and it would be a stretch to land a job; however, I am so perfectly content waitressing and doing small gigs here and there and auditioning around. The experience is what I’m in it for.
I’d consider these goals some of my more unrealistic dreams. They’d involve taking time off from my ‘real’ life per say, but I’d just be so happy doing them. Something more practical that I also have a serious passion for is becoming a choral director for a high school. High school is where I found my love for music. I am serious about wanting to be that mentor, or that inspiration for other high schoolers. I love choir. I directed my high school choir for one piece in our last concert and I became even more sold on the idea. To pad this job, I’d most likely get a church job as a cantor and/or hopefully have time to sing professionally in some sort of community choir. I’d love to teach voice as well, and just for fun, auditioning and performing in community musical theater productions would be awesome.
I’d consider myself unique in that my goals and dreams are so varied. I’d like to consider myself pretty adventurous as well. I’m a strong believer in the saying “getting there is half the fun.” It’s important to appreciate the experience. That’s a huge part of what it’s all about. I’m excited for where my life takes me. I also have a commitment to excellence. I may overbook myself and be involved in a whole lot of things, but I will never do things ‘half-ass.’
Something that does bother me that I have yet to figure out is the order in which all of these dreams are to occur. I’d like to think that I’d go traveling and adventuring first and then return and teach. However, the Music Education program in Meadows works such that many students get hired straight out of undergraduate school. Is that what I want to do? And then wait and take a break before grad school? These are things I have to still sort out.
I am also a vocal performance major, although I’m not really thinking of joining an opera company. I want the best vocal training I can get, and this is the way to do it. It will prepare me for all my endeavors to come.
As far as right this moment, as a Freshman at Meadows going into her Sophomore year, I’d say my most important job is to be the best I can be at my art. I need to keep up on classes, but also stay well-rounded. Sometimes, ‘artsy’ people get classified into this division, this one type of people. I like to defy and challenge the stereotype. I also need to be involved in other things in order to feed me as a person. I’d really like to look into the Pom Squad for next year, because it’s hard to fit dance classed into my schedule as a dual degree, but at least Pom would be some sort of dancing, which I miss dearly. Another thing I’d like to involve myself in is tour guiding. It’s excellent leadership development and getting comfortable talking in front of groups of people is a skill useful for choir directors in particular. I’m currently involved in Best Buddies, which is a group in which college students are paired with children who have disabilities as their ‘buddy.’ I’d like to continue this, and maybe find some way to incorporate working with disabled people or elderly into my life plan. I enjoy it so much and it is just such a fulfilling and rewarding thing to do.
So, as you can see, my plan isn’t quite finished. I’d say I know pretty much what I want. It’s a matter of taking the action to get there. I’m so excited for what this world has to offer for me, starting here at SMU. I want to soak up everything I can, and get the most out of the opportunities I’m given.
I’d love to hear what you think.
It’s important as an artist and an entrepreneur to recognize some skills you may be lacking in and then to take action as far as their development. I’ve put together a list in order to help me see what areas I need to grow in the next four years. These were written as someone looking forward to being a teacher/performer.
The first three I attribute to my hopes to be a good teacher. It’s important to stay on top of everything when you are responsible for one or more choirs. This skill is easily developed in college with good habits. Putting things where they belong, not procrastinating, etc. Very quickly, being away from home, I’ve learned the importance of having your own organizational system. It takes time, but eventually you must find one that works for you.
Of course, as a future teacher, I want to be good at what I do. I feel as though I’m enhancing these skills each day as I go to class and observe. I also feel that my intro to Music Education class is helping me so much already. I learn so much in that class each Friday. We’ve even already visited an elementary school which was very insightful. I need to grasp any and all leadership/teaching opportunities that come my way, because everyone says the sooner you start teaching the better off you’ll be.
Patience is another key quality as a teacher. Sometimes I can be a little impatient with people and with myself. This is just going to take me realizing when I’m being impatient, taking a deep breath, and just calming down. I need to realize that things don’t have to be done immediately. When things aren’t being done, it’s not necessarily always a waste of time.
As far as a performer, I need to develop thicker skin. I take criticism too harshly. I’m hard on myself to begin with and I need to learn to take criticism constructively and not turn it into something destructive.
This art also take a lot of discipline, and being in college has already forced me to develop this skill. With so many distractions, it’s hard to say ‘no’ to friends and go study or practice, but it’s often necessary.
These skills and more, I hope to develop in order to become the best teacher, performer, and person I can be.
If I were trapped in an elevator and had thirty seconds to make you see my art as being just as important to you as it is to me I would say…
“One of my teachers once told me we are most honest with the world and with ourselves when we are on the stage. Think about it. How do you feel after you’ve listened to a piece of music that has actually touched you? After you’ve actually connected with a performer? This awesome connection is something I strive to achieve each time I sing. Talent is obviously a very important factor in a singer’s life, but what makes a performance good is when the singer gives it her all. Tells her story honestly with raw emotion. That’s what it’s truly about and that’s why I love what I do. I’d describe my singing as a mix of Barbara Bonney and Kristen Chenoweth. Natural, musical, and genuine. These are the qualities that make it special. These are the qualities that make it memorable. If you have a business card, I’d love to grab lunch some time and keep talking to you!”