Music has been an essential part of my life for as long as I can remember. In fact, I’m pretty sure I came out of the womb with musical aspirations. Expressing through music has always been my solace, joy, a place for heartache, poetic license, and in many instances, the way to understand and know myself.
I began my love of music with one goal and focus – singing. No one in my house growing up could get me to stop singing. One of my favorite memories from childhood was acting like a famous opera singer – I’d stand at the top of the stairs, raise my right arm up and belt out an “Aaahhhhh!”. My sisters would laugh and thought it was just their funny little sister being silly, but I was totally serious about it. I wanted to be on stage.
Then an interesting thing happened which changed my course with singing for a very long time. I got my first solo in choir at the age of 7. I was super excited to perform, but when I came to the front of the stage to sing I got scared, and I started singing the wrong lines of the song. I ran back to my place with the choir mortified. That one moment shattered my childish confidence, and set up a terrible phobia – the fear of singing in front of people.
I spent the next years of life still loving to sing, but spending most of my time trying to blend into the back row of the choir, praying I wouldn’t get called on to sing in front of the class. My aspirations for the music I was writing were put on the back burner. Instead, my fear was front and center. I started thinking I had to find something else to be passionate about – something safer. When I moved out of Austin after finishing college, I didn’t write any music for over a year. I barely even sang along to the radio. It hit me really hard one day that I was really giving it up – resigning myself to let go of my dream and the passion that was so deeply in my heart – and all because I was too scared. It was in that moment I realized how much music really meant to me. That it’s not just something I do for fun. It’s who I am, in my blood.
I decided to move back to Austin shortly after my musical awakening. This time, I wanted to do it right, and walk the walk with music. I wanted to grow and get better. I decided I needed to play an accompanying instrument as well. I gravitated to guitar.
Armstrong Music School was suggested to me by a friend as a great place to acquire the tools I was going to need to develop myself musically. From the moment I met Scott Horton, Liz Cass, Margaret Perry, and everyone at Armstrong, I knew it was the perfect place for me. The entire place nurtures and encourages you. It warms my heart to see so many kids and adults of all ages showing up to learn and pursue their interests. You can be whoever you are at Armstrong, and it’s perfectly enough. You can even be a timid and shy singer with a fear of singing and no guitar experience, and they take you in with open arms.
Working with Scott and Liz has opened me up in ways I never thought were possible. Not only are they both crazy talented, but they have encouraged me, pushed me, made me laugh until I’ve cried, and never let me give up on myself. I owe them and the school so much for helping me get back to what I love so very much – the music. It’s because of support like theirs that I’m back to writing, recording an album, and…performing in public again.
I have no idea what the future holds, but that’s not even important. It’s the journey I’ve taken to get right here that I’m really enjoying. Thank you so much to Armstrong Music School for all you do, and for helping so many to realize their passions!