Q and A with Kaitlyn from South Dakota, United States
“My hope is just to work hard to let my success speak for itself and encourage other young girls that we belong in music just as much as anyone else.”
Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I am a music educator with a master’s degree in music education. I started my own music school because I wanted to use music to inspire people and teach learn life skills. I have students all around the world and we are currently working on recording our second student-featured album to be released early this summer.
My husband and I are both passionate about music. We actually met in the high school band. We became friends in high school and stayed in touch. A couple years later, we started dating. Now, we have a music school, two kids, and a third on the way. Our music school covers all instruments and voices. I specialize in woodwinds. He does pretty much everything. He started on trumpet in high school, but he can play piano, guitar, and any fretted string instrument.
Q: What were your younger years like?
A: I always had a passion for music when I was younger. Who doesn’t love music? But so many times I was told to only practice certain types of music. I had teachers who told me music wasn’t for me or that maybe I should pursue something else. The biggest reason I got into education was to stop that pattern of thinking. Music is for everyone. There are many ways to learn and various styles to explore. I structure my lessons and classes to focus on improvement, but the outcome of that often looks different depending on the student’s interests and goals. Every student can’t fit into the same mold or method. I train my other teachers to take the same approach and encourage the students to help set the learning objectives in their learning path.
Q: What is something valuable you’d like others to know?
A: Something that I’d like everyone to know is that music is for everyone. I commonly hear things like “I wish I would’ve learned when I was younger” or “I can’t learn music because I’m tone deaf.” These are common misconceptions we place on ourselves due to the fear of failure. I did my master’s research on this and tone deafness affects less than 3% of the population and is most often a result of severe brain injuries. Here’s a quick test to see if you are tone-deaf. Ask someone near you to make a sound like “Ooo”. Tell them to start with their voice low or high and then switch. If you can hear that person’s voice go from a low sound to a higher pitch, congratulations! You’re not tone-deaf.
I have students from ages 3-83 and they all have different journeys that are equally impressive. Anyone can learn to sing or play an instrument.
Q: What does feminism mean to you?
A: Feminism is simply about supporting women to follow their dreams and know that they are valuable. More than 70% of college music students are male. I was often the only female in many of my classes. My teachers always assumed I was a vocalist because that’s what girls do in music. We just love to sing. When I would tell them I was a wind player, sometimes they’d be surprised. I think sometimes men have felt intimidated by my success as a musician and business owner. My hope is just to work hard to let my success speak for itself and encourage other young girls that we belong in music just as much as anyone else.
MORE ABOUT KAITLYN: My husband and I own Tilghman’s Academy of Music. We have a highly experienced and passionate group of teachers that work with us. We offer music lessons to students in our hometown and also teach students through our virtual classrooms around the world. We offer private lessons and classes. We also do something I haven’t seen any other music school do. We have a subscription service for the independent learner at a very affordable price where we include personalized content for each student. Each student is assigned to a teacher who checks in on their progress, answers questions, and gives feedback when needed. Students have access to our music library and video content to learn at their own pace. Our website includes some sample content of what that looks like. We really enjoy reaching new people with our programs.