Students of MI: Sarah

“I’m a sound design major and I’m minoring in music composition. This is my third year at Michigan Technological University; I transferred from a community college downstate. My grandfather is an alumnus, and I saw the visual and performing arts department and thought, “These are the careers I want to do.” I applied, I was accepted, I drove up here in the fall, I saw an apartment, signed a lease, drove through town, and drove back home. I moved in December during a snowstorm. A nine-hour drive took us 12.

Sound design is really awesome because you get to be part of telling the story. Your influences in the sound touch the audience and having that power is really special. I competed and won at the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre competition. When I’m composing, I prefer to be at the piano, and I tend to do a lot of stuff on my computer. For sound design, I’m at the keyboard and a computer and listening to sounds.

I started a student chapter of sound girls—an international organization that is about bringing awareness and opportunities to women, girls, and minorities in sound, audio, and music production. I’m finding opportunities for newer students and students who are kind of interested in sound/music and getting them an opportunity to grow. Our department can be really challenging. I think by having these little opportunities ahead of time we’ll have more prepared students, hopefully. I’m thinking about going to grad school so I can teach at the college level. I found that that’s what I like to do.

My friend Allen got me into powerlifting and bodybuilding two or three years ago. I go to the gym four times a week. I lift some pretty heavy weight for someone my size. I listen to a lot of rock, hard rock, and metal while working out. My dad listens to that music; it’s what I grew up with, but I also really like the new progressive metal bands such as Periphery. The higher energy music really helps me focus on the act of lifting heavy weight, which somewhat transports me to another world where there isn’t stress and worries. It is just me, the weights, and music.”

(Sarah, Sound Design, Michigan Technological University)

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