The Reason Why I Love To Sing

The Reason Why I Love To Sing

I aspire to touch the lives around me with music.

I remember sitting in front of the T.V. as a child, watching American Idol. I loved hearing so many beautiful voices, and I always wished that mine sounded like theirs did. As an eight-year-old girl, I certainly couldn’t belt like all of the talented men and women I heard on the radio, but it didn’t stop me from trying. When I was younger, singing was a pastime, but certainly not one that I took seriously. The realm of rock stars seemed too far away to be a reality.

In fifth grade, I began participating in musical theater. I tried out for the play, only to realize how weak and small my voice was. After hearing countless female singers with higher ranges, I assumed that was how a girl should sing, and I wouldn’t unlearn this stereotype until a year later. The audition left me with nothing to go by, but my director’s advice to work on my lower range.

I must briefly discuss my love affair with rock music, in order to explain everything that would follow. One day, fourteen-year-old me, was sitting in the car with my father, when an Evanescence song came on the radio. Amy Lee’s voice was strong and powerful, yet she possessed an elegance to her voice. I immediately knew that I wanted to sound exactly like she did. I spent countless hours singing in my room to music from "Fallen," and "The Open Door." I modeled my own voice after Lee’s. I became passionate about finding my voice, and spent my waking hours trying to find out how to sound better. I read article after article, on how to improve, but none of it made a difference. I was able to strengthen my voice, but I still possessed little to no technique.

I remained a shower singer, exclusively, until I joined my high school’s chorus in my sophomore year. Much to my surprise, my chorus director placed me as a soprano. At first, I was contemptuous, but upon further exploration I realized that my range was much wider than I had previously believed. I learned to breathe properly and develop my range and tone. More importantly, I eliminated the word ‘can’t’ from my vocabulary. I learned that the only thing holding me back was myself. My greatest realization was that I must open my mind before I could effectively use my instrument.

Music became a living and breathing thing for me. It was no longer the two-dimensional people on TV or the faceless voices from the radio. Music lived inside of me, and in the people around me. Suddenly, notes became my alphabet, and harmony was my language. All of the research I had done on the human voice was finally contextualized.

Simultaneously with my increased vocal understanding, I was learning more about musical culture. I discovered new artists and bands every time I opened my laptop. Vocalists became my closest confidants. They articulated everything that I felt, and in a way that I understood. All I had to do was sing along, and I felt that I had a place where I belonged. Names like Josh Ramsay, Gerard Way, and Taylor Momsen, would make their way into my everyday vocabulary. I began attending concerts and using my voice to scream back the lyrics that I loved so much. I met people and made personal connections with many other musicians and singers.

Singing has empowered me in so many ways. I now write my own music and sing in my free time. I still participate in musical theater and choruses, but I use my voice for so many reasons. I sing to encourage, to express, to understand, and to feel. I sing because it is a mechanism for me to experience emotion. The excitement of performing gives me chills, I never smile wider than when I sing with people I love, I always choose the music over the tears, and it’s much less expensive to sing rather than breaking things when I’m angry. However, I believe that my voice is not only for myself, I am able to effect those around me. Whether I am healing, encouraging, or creating with, I aspire to touch the lives around me with music.

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.

Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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Poetry On Odyssey: I was I am

A poem for those struggling with who they were.


it seems almost like a page

in someone else's book now

how there was

a time that i thought

i could have been happy

with someone like you

a million years before

i knew who i was

and that i should mean so much more

than i ever did to you

i almost can't remember

the way you held your elbows or

the way you said the letter o or

the way you told me goodnight

it seems now

that all i can recall

are my relentless tears and

the fear that this was the love

that everyone spoke about

the fear that this

was what id have to live with

for the rest of my life

i remember those late nights

just you and i

you always got what you wanted

i was always too afraid to upset you

looking back i wonder why

i couldnt leave you then

but you kept me

my misery maintained until

i felt like nothing

that night was the record scratch

When I knew my life

Shouldn't be like this.

It wasn't until I finally broke our ties

That I started to remember

Who I am.

But my mind is clear now.

I can remember

How strong I am,

How perfectly happy I am

On my own.

It seems almost like a page

In someone else's book now.

You're finally fading away.

I just wish my scars could fade as quickly.

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