1. Why did you decide to take music in school?
I went into music because everyone else was starting and it seemed really interesting.
2. Why did you choose Oboe?
In 5th grade, everyone was switching to band, so I decided to follow suit. My mom's friend got her degree from Eastman School of Music in oboe performance and wanted to teach me. I didn't know much about oboe, but I heard it was a double reed instrument, and I knew clarinet, which my brother played, was a single reed instrument. Naturally, I wanted to one-up him, so I took the opportunity presented to me.
3. What does music mean to you?
Music is a way for me to release myself from pressures in school or in my personal life. I always feel insightful when I play, and it's time for me to process things that are going on in my life. While oboe can be hard, it feels more natural to me than anything else.
4. What made you decide to stick with it?
I decided to stick with oboe because I loved the satisfaction playing gave me. Despite my stage fright, I never gave up because I had the goal of overcoming my fears and sounding like Albrecht Mayer or Elaine Douvas.
5. How did you chose your career and college?
I chose to go into music performance in college because I couldn't think of anything else that I was passionate enough about. I had, and still have, an interest in psychology, but I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life counseling people. While it's a nice sentiment to want to help others through therapy, I was passionate about music.
6. How has music helped you in school and life?
Music helped me in life by giving me an outlet and giving me hope for my future. Whenever I was upset, I was always able to go play or think to myself "I got into the highest orchestra at Manhatten School of Music Precollege; that's more than most people can say!" Realizing that I had this ability that I put years of effort into helped me stay above water, generally. I can't really say how it helped me in school, because I haven't had anything to compare my current standings to - I've been playing music for most of my life so I don't have a 'control group', so to speak.
7. What tips can you give to kids in their first year about practicing, staying with music and why?
The best advise I can give to kids playing music is that, when they go to play, they need to make each note count. One they can put worth into each note, the music actually happens. My second piece of advice would be to not be afraid to take risks or pick up a different instrument; you won't go very far if you stay in your comfort zone.