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Past. Present. Future.

My entire life, I have been surrounded by a persistent love for storytelling. Some of my earliest memories are of my Mother reading my siblings and I bedtime stories from her rocking chair.  There were five of us, sharing two bedrooms so she would read from the hallway, to make sure we could all listen to her read Harry Potter at the same time.  I also remember the hilarious family stories and jokes that my Tia Alicia and Tia Maria would share with us every time they visited. These memories form the catalyst for my deep love and enjoyment of storytelling in all forms.  

As I grew up I discovered the incredible joy and power that comes from sharing stories with music. I fell in love with musicals, films, and TV shows that all had incredible music and sounds to share. I filled up my mp3 player with my favorite pieces from all my favorite films, and would spend the long hours of my weekend paper route imagining fantastic stories and epic battles as the music played in my ears. 

However, as I started college, I was determined to put this passion on the backburner. Growing up without a lot of money, I was eager to carve out a career for myself in the most lucrative field I could find. Like many others, I started out wanting to be a doctor, when I found out I hated that I thought I’d try being a lawyer, which lasted all of a week before I decided that I “wanted” to be a psychologist. In hindsight, I suppose I was drawn to this profession because it connected me to the stories of others around me. I could study emotions and how they are experienced on all different levels. It wasn’t until I was well into graduate school that I finally discovered I was chasing the wrong dream. 

Absolutely miserable, and feeling that I had wasted the previous four years of my life, I turned to my old passion of storytelling and music. Even though I hadn’t touched my instrument since high school, I auditioned for the University Marching Band and was accepted. As fate would have it, my school was selected by John Williams to be the very first marching band to debut the official band arrangements of his most iconic themes. The experience of that show was life-changing. It revived the spark inside of me to pursue music in any way that I could. 

I was fortunate enough that my graduate program encouraged “interdisciplinary studying.” This meant that I was allowed to take up to half of my credits within a different school in the University. Traditionally this was supposed to be the school of public health or sociology, but I received permission to study with the school of music instead. Several incredible and kind professors allowed me to enroll in their classes, despite the fact that I had absolutely zero idea what I was doing. The very first music theory course I enrolled in (remedial music theory for graduate students) nearly broke me. 

I remember leaving the first-class utterly crestfallen. I hadn’t understood a single word the professor had used and didn’t have the slightest clue how I was supposed to continue a class that, for all intents and purposes, was in a totally different language! Fortunately, I was desperate to make things work, so I started a habit of writing down every word I didn't understand in the margins of my notes. Then, after every class, I would go to the music library and look up each term I had written down and teach myself what they meant. Soon the professor realized what I was doing, and started taking time to meet me in the library and help me catch up. It was a defining moment of my journey. 

Throughout the rest of my degree, I interned with the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, where I was surrounded by some of the most talented young people I have ever had the privilege to meet! Their craft and love for their art continued to inspire me to learn more about the craft of story writing. I spent every free hour I had studying music and pouring over every book on story writing that I could get my hands on. 

After graduating I took some time off for myself to continue my studies of music composition and story writing. I grabbed a job as a strength coach for a nearby gym and spent every free hour honing my craft. Eventually, I decided to take the next step and try my hand at applying to a music school. I was accepted, and have continued to grow and develop as a musical storyteller ever since.

Now, as I continue my journey as a composer, I try to empower others to write their own music. I remember the frustration I had at trying to find quality resources for teaching myself to write. I want to make it easier for others to learn how to compose music than it was for me. It's my mission to make sure that no matter what kind of background a person has, they can build a strong foundation in all the basics of composing music. This is why I make videos on harmony, orchestration, melody writing, etc. If more people have access to quality educational resources, the future of music will continue to be a bright and beautiful place!

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