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I can’t remember a single day from my teenage years till the present when I did not turn on a music channel in the morning or play a song on my speaker first thing after I woke up. I simply cannot imagine my life without music in it. In fact, I have my music on as I’m writing this article.

Music is a unique art form in the sense that everyone can appreciate at least some aspect of it. From lyrics to instruments, from rap to opera, the world of music encompasses the length and breadth of human emotions. Music has been a popular form of performing arts for centuries. Emperors, kings and even the common folks of yore have revered music as a superior art form both for entertainment and for expression. Even today, singers and musicians are some of the highest earners in the entertainment industry. And, I don’t think I would be wrong if I said that most of us dreamed of singing in front of a huge crowd someday like our favorite artist or band, or that we dreamed of having our own band and going on tours through the country or maybe across the world.

To all those people who talked to their parents and peers about their musical dreams, do you remember their response to it? Was it along the lines of laughter or glares or refusal of acknowledgment? Do you ever think how different your life would have been had you actually pursued music as a career?

     Victoria Stortini-Snider (Courtesy of Stortini-Snider).

Victoria Stortini-Snider, a close friend of mine and an amazing singer, pursued her dream. Stortini-Snider is a fourth year Music student at Western University and has been a fan of stage performance since the age of four.

“I used to bug my mom, asking her when I could go on stage and sing,” said Stortini-Snider.

Stortini-Snider was passionate about singing from a very young age and the biggest factor in her pursuing her dream has been the continuous support of her parents.

     Stortini-Snider at her third-year recital at the Don Wright Faculty of Music at Western University (Courtesy of Stortini-Snider).

Stortini-Snider is classically trained with a focus on opera, and from the few times I have heard her sing—I was mesmerized every time. But her training in classical music doesn’t keep her from being in touch with music forms popular in the current time. Stortini-Snider is a huge fan of EDM. When asked about her favorite artist she said, “DJ Illenium. His music always touches me and inspires me.”

Even with the continuous support from her parents, Stortini-Snider has faced obstacles in pursuing her dreams, mostly from people who have negative opinions about art as a legitimate career.

“What are you going to do with [your degree]? There is nothing out there,” is the most common comment Stortini-Snider receives from people about her study and career choice.

“This mostly happens because people don’t understand what I do in my studies and what I can do with it,” said Stortini-Snider.

     Stortini-Snider with her second-year recital team at Western University (Courtesy of Stortini-Snider).

The lack of understanding or knowledge for arts-related degrees and careers is something that almost every artist has seen in people that they meet. But the disheartening trend is that people’s first reaction is to say that there is nothing out there for you to do, and to question how you will make a living, instead of a curiosity and an attempt to further understand it.

For me, as a student in animal behavior, it is common to meet people who don’t know or don’t understand what it is that I do. But in my experience, I have never met someone who told me that there was nothing out there for me to do or that I can not make a living from it. I often wonder if its because I am a science student instead of an arts student. As someone who practically can’t survive without music, it saddens me to hear people belittle artists who pursue such a noble form of art.

I know how hard it is for someone to pursue their dreams when almost everyone around them mocks their dreams and discredits their hard work as an easy way out. Stortini-Snider is not unfamiliar with such people, but she does have some encouragement for everyone who is struggling to pursue their dream despite societal pressure.

“Go for your dreams because at the end of the day you want to do something you love, you don’t want a job you hate. If music is something you really want then go for it.”


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Shefali Bhatt

Western '20

Shefali is a third-year student pursuing honors specialization in Animal Behavior with a certificate in digital communication. She loves almost everything in the world but traveling, adventure and writing about her thoughts and experiences is the closest to her heart.
1 cup vibrancy, 1/2 cup feisty, a few tablespoons of crazy, and a dash of witty all popped in the oven in the year of 2000.
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