Music student masters martial arts to tone her technique

Brian_submitMusic has the ability to affect people in different ways; some people turn to it for entertainment, others as an outlet.

For sophomore Katy Mitlyng, music is a lifestyle.

As a music education major, Mitlyng combines her passion for performing with her drive to help others. Although she didn’t always know it, Mitlyng says music education is her destiny. Mitlyng sat down to talk about the high notes of her musical education.

Why do you want to do music education?
I didn’t really know what I wanted to major in, so I sat down and really thought about it. I realized, “Oh, music is what I want to do with my life. It’s so interesting.” Then I worked at a camp over the summer, and I was like, “Oh, kids, yeah.” And so I really thought about it and I said education is something I really want to do, and I want to work with kids and with music, and have them together in my life.

Do you have an age group in mind?
Middle school kids are underestimated, but I think they’ re hilarious and would be fun to teach.

Do you have a favorite style of music?
I wouldn’t say so. I love Broadway music, but I also love classical, the stuff on the radio, but I also listen to country. It depends on the mood I’ m in.

Is there a type of music you like to perform the best?
Probably classical, it’s the best for freeing your voice. I feel more relaxed when I sing it. But if I’m feeling fun and crazy, I love belting out a Broadway tune.

Outside of class, what are some things you do to better yourself as an artist?
I’m in a martial arts class for relaxing. It’s centered around how to take tension out of your body and how to use that to your advantage and relax. It’s a way to take nerves that I have when I perform and just relax completely and perform well.

How do martial arts make you a better performer?
I get really, really nervous when I’m performing in front of people. It overwhelms me and I don’t sing how I would like to, so I’m learning slowly but surely how to approach those nerves. I tell myself, “It’s OK to be nervous and that’s going to happen. I need to get over that and work through it.” With the martial arts relaxing techniques, I can do it.

Does it help you in other aspects of life?
When I get stressed with school, when I’m really busy, I’ve learned to take a deep breath and know that it’s going to be OK and I can get through it. It’s going to be intimidating to be a teacher and be in front of students, and I know that, so it’ll help me calm down and have the confidence in what I’m doing. I don’t want to hold back.

What about music makes people love it so much?
I think a big part is that everyone can find something in music that’s their own, that they can relate to or that they like. There are so many different things out there so everyone can find something unique that’s their own personal style. It’s an art; people find comfort in it. You can just shut your door, turn your music on and feel better. Music is my life, so I really want to share that with people.

BY BRIAN ASHBURN
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