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Maia Kelly: Violin Performance Major and Songwriter

Name:  Maia Kelly

Year: Junior

Hometown: Oyster Bay, NY

Major: Violin Performance 

Her Campus (HC): When did you first discover your passion for music?

Maia Kelly (MK): My mom is an incredible pianist and when I was little I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. I still do! When I was about three years old, she took my brother and me to a music store in Tokyo and told us to choose an instrument. I was immediately drawn to the violin and I’ve been playing it ever since. As I grew older, I picked up guitar and piano and also started singing.

HC: What’s it like being a music major at FSU?

MK: Everyone I’ve encountered in the school of music is so talented and ambitious and I’m inspired every day. Being in an environment where people have the same passions as you do is really rewarding. We all recognize that we’re so privileged to be studying what we love. It’s a great feeling! What I like most about being a music student at FSU is that while I’m receiving an incredible music education, I’m also encouraged to pursue my other passions. The program is comparable to the intensity offered at conservatories, yet I’m also able to have a traditional college experience.

HC: Do you have a most memorable performance or concert?

MK: Recently, I played in a concert with the University Symphony Orchestra and it was truly a life changing experience. I’ve had to deal with a lot of unexpected challenges this semester, but this concert reminded me of why I do what I do. I had the opportunity to make stunningly beautiful music with a group of musicians whom I admire so much; it really doesn’t get much better than that. 

HC: Do you aspire to turn music into a career post-graduation?

MK: Definitely. The thought of pursuing a music career is really scary. I don’t know what to expect! However, the thought of NOT pursuing a music career is even scarier. I can’t know for sure what is going to come of it, but I have to at least try to go after it. Ideally, I want to be a successful singer-songwriter. However, I would also love to play violin in a quartet or some kind of chamber group down the line.

HC: Tell us about your songwriting process.

MK: I’m not entirely sure I have one. I write lyrics in a notebook or in my phone whenever they come to me. It’s the same with melodies; I record them when I hear them. Then, I piece things together like a puzzle. There are many times when these lyrics just pour out of me and there are also times when it’s hard to write anything at all. I guess maybe that in itself is a process.

HC: Are you involved in any other areas of campus besides the music school?

MK: Yes! I think that goes back to what I was saying about FSU allowing me to have a traditional college experience. I’m a member of Alpha Chi Omega and am currently serving on the executive board as Vice President of Intellectual Development. Being a music major can be so time consuming and I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to fully commit to my position. However, I’ve had incredible support from my sisters. I’m also the secretary of The Advance Party, which has been one of the highlights of my college career thus far. I’m really happy that I’ve been able to branch out and find my place in other areas of campus.

HC: Who are some of your favorite artists and composers?

MK: Billy Joel, Adele, Fleetwood Mac, The Carpenters, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran…I could honestly go on forever. I’m always open to new types of music! My favorite composer right now is Tchaikovsky. I could listen to Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major forever; it’s just that beautiful.

HC: Do you have any upcoming performances or song releases that you are looking forward to?

MK: I’m giving my junior recital on Sunday April 9th at 4:00 PM in Lindsay Recital Hall at FSU! I’ll be playing Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1 in G minor and Grieg’s Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor. This will be my first degree recital here, and this program is a lot of fun to play. If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be moving out to LA this summer to work on some original songs and will hopefully be putting out an album at the end of the summer so that is also something I’m really looking forward to! 

Shelby Curran is a senior at Florida State University majoring in English with a concentration in Editing, Writing, and Media and minoring in Communications.
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