By: Kyra Powell/Senior Writer and Content Editor
The first time I met Maddi Button was show week of the high school production The Sound Of Music. I was in sixth grade, and she seemed so mature and talented! Maddi Button shined like the star she is and was somebody I wanted to be all the way back then. Since then, I have taken singing lessons from her, have had large roles in musicals, and am inheriting her job at Lindsey Oil, giving me the opportunity to interview her. Maddi has now not only graduated college, but landed a job in Scranton in her field of study. Here are the questions the Raider Reader posed:
RR: Tell us about your college experience.
Button: I was a music therapy major. Being a music major is a crazy busy experience, and I was very stressed for the first few semesters. While the stress never really ended, I learned how to handle it and found various support systems to help me through it. My senior year I was president of our music therapy club and I loved being a leader for my classmates. After 4 years of classes I also had to complete a 6 month internship, so I earned my degree in 5 years.
RR: College advice?
Button: Find extracurricular activities that breathe life into your tired soul (especially activities outside of your major). Find friends you can cry with and sing Jonas Brothers songs with. When you are faced with conflicts, act like the grown-up you are and face them head-on, even if that means having a hard conversation. Know that there is zero shame in changing your major a dozen times, take longer than 4 years to finish a degree, or finding a job you love outside of your field of study.
RR: General wisdom?
Button: Cling to your faith: it will get you through the hardest times. If something is voluntary but stressing you out, please step away from it and save yourself a headache. Be kind because you never know the struggles someone is facing: at the same time, be honest with people so that you both might learn and grow. Say you’re sorry when you’re wrong. Don’t take life too seriously- you’ve gotten have some fun even while you work!
RR: How did Blue Ridge prepare you for college?
Button: My time at Blue Ridge prepared me in different ways. In a general sense, the small school taught me the value of befriending teachers so you can turn to them for help and wisdom. In the same vein, I learned the value of being friendly with lots of people in your year, but knowing who your closest friends are and sticking with them. Regarding my major specifically, the various theory classes gave me a great leg up in college classes, and singing in the chorus and doing PMEA taught me a lot about different music and singing with a huge group to create something beautiful.
RR: How might you say you’ve grown?
Button: In middle school and most of high school, I had little confidence. I lived in constant uncertainty about myself and how others would receive me. I got a little more confident senior year, but it wasn’t until college that my confidence really soared. Though as a musician I’ve grown through various gigs and musical opportunities. I’ve also become more compassionate and empathetic as I have met more people from different walks of life and served people through music theory.
RR: Tell us about your career.
Button: My degree is in music therapy and I am a Board Certified Music Therapist, which is the credential needed to practice in the US. After my internship I took some part time jobs teaching elementary music at Faith Mountain Christian Academy, giving music lessons at the Children’s Home of Wyoming Conference, and in my private studio, as well as manning the front desk at Lindsey Oil. In August I started working for Living Unlimited in Scranton as a music therapist/rehabilitation specialist. In this job I provide music therapy services and help people with different disabilities find jobs. It’s exciting to know I get to make a difference for members of the community and that I can stay in the area!
Kyra Powell is a senior at Blue Ridge, who will have been in 16 musicals by the time she graduates! Kyra enjoys singing, playing guitar, piano, ukulele, and going outside. After high school, Kyra plans on moving to Florida where she can spend more time outside with her family (where there’s never snow!)