Natalie Schmidt is a major pre-medical major in Biomedical Engineering. She has participated in many music-related after-school programs throughout her college career: she was a freshman choir and music director of Sigma Alpha Iota (SAI), a professional music fraternity, in her second year. Schmidt has learned not to label his music, but rather to enjoy the educational journey it has to offer.
Schmidt is the musical director of Hooked On Tonics, an acapella mixed choir on campus. Their first concert will take place on October 24 at 6:00 p.m. in the recital hall of the University Center of the Arts of Valparaiso (VUCA).
She wanted to continue participating in musical organizations in college, but at first she struggled to manage time commitments, before being introduced to an acapella group.
“I joined the mid-year of freshman. I was in a choir and I liked it a lot, but it really took a long time. I wanted to do other things besides the chorale because it took a long time, ”Schmidt said. “After I left the choir I really wanted to be a part of something else and the girl next to me in the choir was president of Hooked On Tonics. [HOT] at the time and I said I had to join and that’s what I did. I’m really glad I did.
HOT performs music from many different categories.
“We do pop music. We also did fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties, ”Schmidt said. “I guess fun music. We try to choose a variety of songs and take recommendations from our band members. Nothing super classic, other than Carol of The Bells for Christmas.
Schmidt’s childhood was all about music, and his family was the biggest push.
“I have been singing and playing the piano for as long as I can remember. I think I started playing the piano when I was five years old. I grew up in a very musical family; my mom, sisters and dad sing and play piano and my dad plays guitar. My dad gave us these amps and microphones when we were little, and my two sisters and I would put on costumes for the Abba and Led Zeppelin concerts. Music has always been my thing and it’s all I’ve ever known, ”Schmidt said.
She did not know which path to take in college and with this challenge her parents were able to help her, especially her mother.
She was not sure which university specialty she should choose, but she was able to decide with the help of her parents.
“My parents are both in commercial real estate so it’s funny how my sisters and I like science things. I guess I grew up reading a lot; my mom always took us to the library and so did my dad, my dad was really passionate about science. When I entered high school, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do because I had always thought I would have wanted to be a doctor if I didn’t go into music, but I was afraid to do it ” , Schmidt said. . “My mom told me, ‘Why don’t you go into biomedical engineering because you love math and science and then you can figure out if you want to make music or not.’ So I went. “
Before entering college, she continued to question whether or not she was following the right career path.
“I always thought I would be a musician. I wanted to get my doctorate from a music teacher university. I struggled between music and the desire to be a doctor or an engineer. Guess I’ve determined that I can still have music in my life, but you can’t really be a full time musician and then become a doctor for fun on the weekends. I found a good balance in keeping the music in my life while doing what I love, ”Schmidt said.
During her freshman year she went through a few major changes, but eventually managed to find her way.
“I was actually a major in music at one point. I had started as a Biomedical Engineer and I was not sure, then I moved on to Biology and Music for a semester, then I came back to Biomedical Engineering. It was a crazy race, ”Schmidt said. “I’m glad I did it anyway.”
Music is an integral part of Schmidt’s life and she wanted to keep that part of herself alive. She was afraid that if she wanted to major in music, it would devalue her passion for music.
“I think part of me wanted to validate that to love music, I had to put a label on it and I had to be a major in music. In my head I was like “If I’m not a major musician people won’t know how much I love music and I won’t be able to do it” and learned that it really wasn’t. the case. Schmidt said. “I’ve followed so many doctors who are better doctors because they’re in a band or singing in a choir or something to music. The arts make you a better person and I know it will make me a better doctor someday.
Because she has a major with a heavy workload, Schmidt can see music as stress relief. Moreover, she can see it as a leadership experience.
“Overall, all of the activities I have been involved in have made me a stronger, more compassionate, and very disciplined leader. I think people think sport is the only thing that has discipline and music should be so disciplined, ”Schmidt said.
Ultimately, Schmidt found that putting aside the labels and the stresses of careers taught him that what is more important is doing what you love.
“I kind of let go of the fact that I don’t need to put a label on it, that I will always love music and that I will always be a musician. You don’t have to be a major in music to be talented or to love it. Do what makes you happy, do what you love and you’ll find out from there, ”Schmidt said.
If you would like to nominate someone for an Artist Spotlight feature in The Torch, please send an email to [email protected]