How Singing Can Transform You Stephanie Jones
Why did you choose a career in singing?
Music is one of the things that stayed with me throughout the different phases of my life. It was a constant though I was ever-changing. As life brought its twists and turns, its joys and sorrows, music was always something that inspired me to keep going. Looking back there was a time where I found myself singing anywhere and everywhere, without a care for how I sounded or how I was perceived.
But as I grew older, my voice and expressions turned inward, and I became very shy. It was a defensive layer between myself and people I did not know yet. Music was the bridge that helped me work through this. I was always involved with choirs and church related activities as well as my singing lessons. These are what helped to create and shape my artistic community. I found that music gave me a different focus and an expressive outlet. This focus and outlet had a positive impact on the other parts of my life.
What made you choose music as a career?
Even though I eventually chose to major in Music in undergrad, it was not my main career goal at first. During college I started training mainly in classical voice, then started singing in Operas and Musicals. It was exhilarating. I felt that I had found another way to express myself and connect to others. As I kept performing, I was able to channel my shyness and nervousness into energy that fueled my music making. The more I learned, the deeper my connection to music became.
A few years into my time in undergrad, I had to make a choice between music and the other career I had been working towards. It was something I really had to consider, as it would not only impact the rest of my life, but also potentially my family’s lives. While there were many factors in making this decision, there were also many different signs that kept pointing towards music. So, I took that leap.
What inspires you to keep singing and creating music?
This journey has had many ups and downs, but I have been able to look back and see how far I have come. I have met many wonderful musicians and had many opportunities to make music with them. I have gotten to travel and sing in different parts of the world. I have been continuously healed and guided by music. One of my main goals for my career is to be able to make music that can have that kind of impact on and healing for another person.
Do you have any advice for people who want to be a singer?
Beyond the standards of training and practicing, my advice for those who want to be professional singers is to consider your end goals, your dreams for this career. What are the steps you would need to take to accomplish this goal? Are they realistic? Would you be happy as long as you were doing what you love, regardless of the amount of money or fame? Would you be able to continue through the best and worst moments? Can you let the critiques of others inspire you instead of holding you back?
As singers, we are our own instruments. Our physical, emotional and mental conditions have an effect on our voice. Sharing your voice and part of your heart with the world can be scary because you will feel a level of vulnerability. But it is in finding those moments and connecting your truth to the music you make that brings that music to life and makes it brilliant. It is that skill and that commitment to making music that will allow you to touch other people’s hearts and, in some cases, inspire them and lift their burdens. There is a great healing and power in music. As singers, we are given the gift of the text. I encourage all who want to sing to embrace the text and find a connection that rings true in their lives.
What do you love about teaching at OCMD?
I love the mission and vision that OCMD has: to nurture, inspire and empower our students to achieve their dreams and provide a path for them to follow their passions. That every child will have the opportunity to develop their talents and aim to reach their personal best. I love the dedication that OCMD has towards music. The environment that OCMD has created allows for all of us to focus solely on music. It is a very positive and uplifting place to be.
An article written by OCMD Voice Instructor, Stephanie Jones