Carley (she/her) started writing songs at the age of 5, and hasn’t stopped since. In 2008, she met her musical soulmate: the ukulele. Since then, she’s travelled the world and all across the U.S. a dozen times, documenting her experiences through over 500 songs. With over a decade of music teaching experience, she is currently formalizing her credentials at PSU. Lessons with Carley focus on whatever it is that most excites the student about music.
What age were you when you first started taking music lessons?
8 years old
Tell us about an early music lessons experience that helped shape you as a musician or teacher:
I grew up taking Suzuki violin lessons and I didn’t like it; it was too rigid for me. My dad is a folk singer/songwriter and he always had guitars lying around. I liked the casual aspect of the acoustic guitar and felt drawn to it; sensing this, my dad told me I wasn’t allowed to play his guitars. His reverse-psychology tactic worked and I secretly learned to play when I thought he wasn’t looking,.
What are your favorite bands or musicians?
I’m an oldie at heart. I love the Beatles, James Taylor, Joni Mitchel, Paul Simon, old big bands, crooners like Sinatra and Dean Martin, Ella Fitzgerald… basically anything from the 1920s-1970s. The Beatles always top the list because nobody can turn a pop melody like Paul McCartney.
Do you have a highlight of your music career so far that you would like to share?
I’ve played a couple big stages, self-released a couple albums, but the best times I had were going on tour around the Pacific Northwest in a big van with some of my best friends. I’m also part of a songwriting collective based out of Sturgeon Bay, WI. It’s cool to be part of something that’s bigger than me.
Describe your ideal student.
My ideal student knows it won’t be easy, and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. They have goals, no matter how small. Most importantly, they want to have fun!
Describe what your students should expect in their first few music lessons.
We’ll discuss what brought you to music and what you want to pursue: favorite songs, favorite styles, techniques you want to learn, etc. I’ll break that information down into exercises that meet you at your level, incrementally building on existing skills to increase overall musicianship. How far you go is ultimately up to you. The sky is the limit!
Why did you want to become a music teacher?
I worked in a classroom setting as a traveling early-childhood music teacher for kids 0-5 (yes, even babies!). My job wasn’t “teaching” so much as it was exposing kids to the fundamentals of music and bringing them joy. I was in charge of the 120+ kids. I knew them all by name, and the way they responded to me made me realize how important it is for a child to have regular exposure to music. It’s been proven that greater musical understanding translates into higher aptitudes for math, science, and empathy. I want to use music to help people become the best versions of themselves.