When I’m not working, I’m probably in rehearsal. Somehow, what I’m doing always ties in to my music, whether it’s writing, teaching, or doing science.
I’ve had the unsurpassed pleasure of singing with the women of the Radcliffe Choral Society throughout my time at Harvard, and with the community-based Harvard Summer Chorus last summer.
I’ve been the manager and a founder of of the Harvard College Madrigal Singers, a student-run and -conducted early music group that does its own independent concerts, collaborates with other Harvard student ensembles, gathers spontaneously to sing and carol on streets and bridges, and is starting to reach out to community groups to give volunteer performances.
Lastly, I’ve been a music writer and editor for the Harvard Art Review, where I am now Editor-in-Chief, still trying to figure out how to write about sound and use writing to build community.
Together with my musical experiences growing up, these groups have taught me most of what I know about the value of community and how to foster it concretely. My idea of a supportive, vibrant learning community comes from these groups, from which have sprung many of my best mentors and teachers, both peers and adults. Music has lent focus to my academic studies, both in technical fields, where I’ve studied algorithms for pitch detection and I have a growing avocational interest in the neuroscience behind music, and in my study of literature, which I seem to relate back to music in my papers with alarming consistency. Most of all, though, I know that my involvement in music has made me a better person and enriched my life beyond measure. The desire to pass on the kinds of gifts I’ve been given in that way feeds my desire to work in communities teaching and mentoring and my conviction that arts education is a vital part of anyone’s education.