Kacy Clopton, Storyteller
UMD School of Music
How does creating art make you feel?
Oh, when it’s good, when it’s going well, there’s nothing better. I can’t imagine finding a bigger high for myself. When it’s going poorly, I think it hones so many important skills in myself. The challenge of when it’s not clicking, I get stuck in the mud that can be a quick sand mentality that’s so easy to snowball into negative thoughts. So learning how to turn that sideways and adjust my approach when I do get down and I get frustrated and completely muddled, I think it makes you better.
Creating music makes me feel like I have something to give that is far better than what I would be giving if I weren’t doing this. This is one of the best things I have to give —to give to my colleagues, and any audience, and myself, and yes, humankind.
Also, the fact that you learn how to be an amazing coach and an amazing teacher by learning to hone a creative art, because you have to be your own coach and teacher 90 percent of the time. I think that makes me a more focused person, it makes me a more self-aware person sometimes. Classical musicians are really nitty-gritty analyzers. You have to be able to hear milliseconds of sound and make big adjustments. There’s no perfection. In a way I kind of let go of the idea of perfection. I shoot for accuracy. It’s more about what creates the truest picture for you, I think. Creating music makes me feel like I have something to give that is far better than what I would be giving if I weren’t doing this. This is one of the best things I have to give —to give to my colleagues, and any audience, and myself, and yes, humankind. I feel pretentious making it that grand but I know that I’ve gotten feedback several times in my life where I’ve given a life-altering experience to somebody. And that was an accident. I didn’t go in thinking I’m going to change somebody’s life today or they’re going to be so moved that something’s going to change for them, but moving people in a positive way, whether it’s through a dark emotion or a lighter emotion, I enjoy being able to do that.