Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of being a famous singer like Taylor Swift, Adele, or Whitney Huston. They were my idols.
“Play sports!” Take STEM classes! I’d hear this over-played song every day. I could feel my singing dreams going flat, like an out-of-tune national anthem by Fergie. When I stopped listening to other people’s songs, I found mine quietly replaying in the back of my head.
It never turned off, my microphone was just turned down. I let the orchestra of my parents, grandparents, and even myself drown me out. The first song I ever sang in professional voice lessons was “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. The words of this song grab you by the heartstrings and pull. The swell of the B flat major and the hug of the piano chords are filled with so much love and purpose.
This song made me feel the love again. Performing is the art of trying to make others feel what you do. The first time I sang this to an audience I saw hands being held and tissues being reached for. This song made me feel rediscovered and grounded. It also reminded me to return the love to my passions. That’s why it is so impactful. It makes everyone feel inspired.
Why did I care so much about making people feel the love of that song?
When I came to the Union, I met Matt. Matt dragged me by the vocal cords to choir practice. I auditioned for a solo in the spring performance. After my audition, I was offered voice lessons with the choir director. One year later I was singing at convocation during my sophomore year and then at football and hockey games.
The rush of being on stage and performing for people is my passion. I hope sharing my love for music makes the audience as happy as it makes me.
Most people I know have a second major: one to do what they love and one for their parents to satisfy getting a “good job”. This has never made sense to me. Until I realized I had done the same. Did I love Neuroscience like I love singing? Was this field what made me feel alive and not just living?
I didn’t know what the future held. I wasn’t even sure I had the courage to branch away from the stem major I had chosen. Taking the first step is the scariest part. I don’t want to look back in 50 years and wish I went for the high note. I want you to know that your dreams could come true if you want them to. If you have a passion for something chances are other people share it. Reach out, research, and take the chance. Let someone drag you to choir rehearsal. You could find something that sings to you.
I know it is terrifying to disappoint your mom after all of the conditioning she has done to get you a “real job” but you will never be happy unless you give it a shot. Don’t turn off your microphone…turn it up. You might be the next Adele or maybe even get a standing ovation.