Katelyn‘s Story

Age 19, New York City

Katelyn – ArtSmart music student

“Singing is the way I express myself through many emotions, and I enjoy seeing myself grow and improve through practice.”

Katelyn, age 19

I auditioned with ArtSmart at the beginning of last year because I love to sing. Singing is the way I express myself through many emotions, and I enjoy seeing myself grow and improve through practice. I come from a family of singers. We all grew up in church, so singing is basically embedded in us – it comes naturally to me.

I was nervous at the ArtSmart audition, but the judges were so happy to hear me perform, and the feedback they gave was overwhelmingly positive. Listening to all the other students auditioning, I was blown away by how motivated and energetic everyone was to learn to sing and be a part of ArtSmart. I was so proud of myself when I got in – I’m proud to be part of a program that values music and learning.

ArtSmart was my first time working with a mentor, so it was sometimes a challenge to code switch, but I just think it’s an experience that everyone should have. Not only are you working on your singing and breathing, but you are constantly learning from an expert who cares about you. My mentor has decades of experience singing opera, and I was completely new to it, but I learned that you can singing anything if you know how to breathe right.

If I had to describe my ArtSmart lessons in one word it would be learning! I have learned a lot of new things, like focusing on breathing and taking deep breathes, but most of all I have learned how to control my voice. My mentor Tom is so patient and helps me to perfect each skill one step at a time. He motivated me to practice and get better between every lesson, and works at my speed to make sure I pace myself. I was so surprised with how high my voice can get. Towards the end of lessons last year, my range was at an A flat – at the beginning I had no idea I could reach near an A flat!

ArtSmart is a place where I get to grow and develop my singing, relaxation and expression – it’s a place where I can have fun while learning. I think ArtSmart lessons helped me emotionally in other lessons. When I was having a bad day at school, I would remember that I had an ArtSmart lesson coming up and it would instantly lift my mood. I am so grateful for my time with my mentor and for the program – everything I learned in ArtSmart was so beneficial to me, and I know I can do anything as long as I practice.

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