Years in AYPO: 2003 – 2007
Current Occupation: Music Therapist
Current City of Residence: Alexandria, VA
Current Musical Involvement: Everyday!
Favorite Piece to Perform: Popper Requiem for 3 Cellos
Is there a specific memory or experience that impacted your decision to pursue a music career? I was volunteering at an adult day care facility in high school as part of a service project for school, and I met an older gentleman who had a reputation for being quite grumpy on a regular basis. One of my duties was to help pass out snacks and help clear away the trash when the adults were finished, and this particular gentleman wouldn’t allow me to take his trash for him even though his plate was clear. He’d snap at me when I reached over to clear his plate, and yell at others who were trying to help him. One day I decided to bring my cello in and play for the adults during some down time, and the gentleman was suddenly out of his seat and dancing with one of the nurses, smiling and laughing. I saw how dramatically music was able to change his behavior, with such a simple gift of my time. I continue to be inspired everyday when I see how music makes positive changes in my clients!
Any advice for young musicians interested in pursuing a music career? Stick with it, even when it’s frustrating or tiring! I consistently feel grateful for the sacrifices my parents made and the time and hard work that went into learning to play cello because it’s helped me be able to have a career that I love everyday. I can now look back and see that all of the practicing and rehearsing helped me to develop a skill that gives me the ability to help others heal and change. I learned so many things from playing cello besides just reading notes and playing music. Being a part of music has helped to become a better person and a better therapist, and to be able to give others the gift of a better life. Do what you love because it makes you a happy, and that makes the world a better place – not because of the paycheck!