My earliest memories of music are of my parents playing cassette tapes and CDs in our living room. I can’t remember a time when my life wasn’t full of music—classical pieces, jazz standards, and folk songs. Even when I didn’t understand what I was listening to, the music inspired and intrigued me, and I wanted to make music of my own.
I had my first chance to do that when my mom enrolled me in a girls’ choir around the age of eight. I received instruction in healthy singing, music theory, and choral technique. I’ve been studying music ever since! A few years after that I began studying violin as well, and knew pretty soon that I wanted to play, sing, and teach professionally.
During my high school years I was a frequent volunteer singer on my church music team and also began studying voice privately. I sang classical songs and opera, and cultivated my interest in medieval and renaissance music. I entered a number of classical vocal competitions, local and regional, and was so happy for my hard work to pay off with some first place awards!
I spent six years playing violin in the Detroit Civic Youth Orchestra, a pre-professional orchestra organized by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s education program. Our performances included Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, Saint-Saens’ Organ Symphony (Symphony No. 3), Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, and the complete Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, performed with a ballet company. I stepped into conducting as well, becoming the director of the Palaestra Young Voices Elementary Choir in Livonia, MI. These experiences of joyful music-making with others strengthened my desire to study music professionally.
When it came time to think about college, Moody Bible Institute in Chicago was the natural choice for me, because it has a historic, well-respected music program with a focus on church music. I studied music for two full years in addition to pursuing other academic interests. My time at Moody was full of musical exploration. I began playing and singing more contemporary music—at Vertical Worship (a bi-monthly event for young people), at my church in Chicago, and with friends, even having the privilege of playing violin on my friend Daniel Lim’s live EP Where Trees Once Stood. I explored more teaching, beginning to teach violin privately and tutor fellow-students in music theory. I was careful to keep developing my own skills as well. I studied voice with Dr. Jori Jennings for three years and sang with the Moody Chorale and Oratorio Chorus. I also played violin in the orchestra for Handel’s Messiah, in recital ensembles, and for chapel services.
After returning to the Detroit area, I was privileged to join the faculty at Expressions and am looking forward to sharing the joy that music brings with my students. Whether singing or playing violin, I’m excited to guide students on their own musical journeys—so that they can find the place where music and their passion meet!