Sophia from Sutton, Voice and Guitar


This month’s student spotlight is Sophia Maloney.  Sophia takes voice lessons with Silvia Irving and guitar lessons with Jeff Dostal.

What Does Sophia Particularly Like about Lessons?

The thing that excites Sophia the most about her lessons is learning to play and sing the songs that she loves. Combining her guitar and voice skills she has acquired over the years, Sophia says it has been fun to learn songs by the many different artists she enjoys, from indie rock to musical theatre!

How Have you Grown with Music?

Sophie prepares to sing at a December 2014 performance class. Year 3 of lessons.

Sophia’s mom says, “Sophia has grown tremendously.”  During her first lessons, Sophia remembers feeling a bit overwhelmed, but also felt comfortable to ask questions and to try her best.   When she was in middle school, Sophie says “it felt like a pain” to practice.  More recently, as a high school student, through her perseverance, Sophie has developed a love and passion for music, and is consistently self-motivated, practicing almost every day now for a number of years.

On Remote Lessons During COVID…

In 2020, Sophie continued her musical education through remote lessons. One of her most memorable remote lessons was with her guitar teacher Jeff:  “Jeff and I were both trying to play a song together that I had brought in. We were able to time it out in a way that we were playing a song at the same time going around the lag on zoom. Although it was difficult it worked in the end!”

Sophie looks forward to moving back to in-person lessons.  She says online classes have their benefits, like not having to drive, but “nothing compares to being able to make music with someone in person”, and we couldn’t agree more, Sophie!

Is there anything you have learned in your lessons that helps you in other situations?

Student Recital 2019

One outstanding point that Sophie makes is that “a big part of music is advocating for yourself and and sharing your thoughts, and that has absolutely helped me to speak my mind in group settings”.

As of spring 2021, Sophie has been enrolled for 10 years!  Becoming a musician doesn’t happen overnight.  Along the way – no matter whether year 1 or year 10 – the lessons we learn last for life.  What a thrill that Sophie has been doing this long enough to be able to learn some of the more challenging lessons that transfer from music to other settings.  Congratulations Sophie!