Shelley Mitchell, ArtSmart Mentor news article
Growing up in Indiana, ArtSmart mentor Shelley Mitchell never thought she would end up living and working in New York City. Read below on how her love of music brought her to the “big apple” and how she continues to find her stride as a working musician and performer…

My name is Shelley Mitchell, and I’m originally from Indiana and moved to New York City in the Fall of 2015 for graduate studies at New York University pursuing performance in the musical theatre realm. I never in a million years thought I would be in New York today, truly. I’ve lived in Indiana my entire life until that life changing moment when I received my acceptance letter.  I think I need to pinch myself, because it still feels surreal. I had just never imagined this would be my new home.

Singing has always been a part of my upbringing, and I’m blessed that I have the unconditional and unquestioning support of my mom. I started voice lessons at a early age, and did the traditional choir gig in high school, along with band, dance team, and color guard. Music was my place. So I continued on that path pursuing studies in vocal performance, and music education (k-12) at Indiana State University. My Journey after undergraduates studies led me to teaching 6-8th at Westlane Middle School in Indianapolis IN. Those three years changed my life, as I grew as a musician, teacher, and mentor for all my students, but most importantly my students changed who I am. That’s what I love.  They taught me to view life differently. Then POOF! I was accepted into graduate studies at NYU!!

New York City gave me the traditional welcome, as in EVERYTHING WENT WRONG! Finding an apartment was chaos and expensive, brokers = yuk! But slowly I found my groove at school. Skip two years and by the end of my career I had performed the role of Adriana in Rogers & Harts “The Boys from Syracuse”, and Clara  in “The Secret Garden” and sang at Yankee Stadium and Radio City Music hall for Graduation! OH MY GOODNESS! Literally is this my real life? Now time to jump into life after school. What do I want to do? This question is easy yet difficult to answer, I have two answers. 1. Perform 2. Teach. Both of these go hand in hand. I crave meeting new students, and assisting them to realize their fullest potential. To see them find a moment where they hear the sounds coming out of their voices, and see the growth, it’s literally the best. I can’t imagine my world without it. So here I am, I stumbled upon ArtSmart’s posting for mentors and I jumped in full force and applied, cut to months later and now I’m here and already I’ve met some AMAZING students in this new program and I’m excited to guide them on this journey. This is where music has brought me, and I feel like I have finally found my stride as a working musician!

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By Shelley Mitchell, ArtSmart Mentor  |  Published on 02/04/2019