What I want to be when I grow up

Whenever someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grow up, I gave a different answer every time.  When I was five, I wanted to be a scientist like my parents, so my dad read his Virology book to me when I was sick. When I was eight, I wanted to be an artist, so I checked out how-to-draw books from the library.   When I was ten, I wanted to be a concert pianist, so my mom drove me two and half hours to take piano lessons from the best piano (OK, one of the best) teacher in Iowa.  When I was eighteen, I wanted to be a choir teacher, so I went to Luther College, a well-respected choir school, learned to conduct and sang in the Nordic Choir for three years.  Two years ago, I wanted to be an opera singer and went to grad school for vocal performance.  And this year, I wanted to be an opera coach and went to Aspen Music Festival.

When someone asks me what I want to do, the easiest answer is “everything.”  I love to teach, I enjoy performing on stage, and I love coaching singers!  I’m just as happy teaching seven year old basic musician skills and seeing them progress, as I am prancing around stage acting like a seven year old (“Flora” in Turn of the Screw).  And this summer, I found out that I’m also just as happy to coach singers and rehearse from 9am to 10pm at night.  Each job is enjoyable and challenges me in different ways – my overall job, indoctrinated by my parents, is to do my best.  That’s the mantra I impart to my students from the day they walk in the door, and the mantra that I continue to live by.

I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing by this time next year, but I hope… everything.

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