Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Martha Councell-Vargas

Second Advisor

Andrew Rathbun


The title “In the Moment” came to be because I wanted to name my recital after something that has felt important to me over the past four years. When I was trying to think of a common thread through all of the most significant experiences I’ve had in what seemed like a college experience full of challenges, growth, and surprises around every corner, I took note that for every one of those experiences, I had been living completely “in the moment.” I had no fear of what was to come, no regret for anything that had come before... I was fully present and fully myself in those moments. All of the times where I had been making music up on a stage stood out as being the experiences most abundant with presence and awareness for me.

With this performance, I wanted to create another space—another experience—that felt completely “in the moment” for me. This was less of a project meant to be enjoyed by the audience, and more of a project that allowed me to focus on my internal experience and redefine my relationship to music. In my four years practicing performing on a stage, bringing music to people, I have struggled with imposter syndrome, nerves, and overall stress and anxiety around performing, despite my desire to perform starting at a young age. This year leading up to my final performance in undergrad, I have been focusing on getting to the root of my performance anxiety, with this recital being my chance to overcome it. I found that my thoughts often centered around what other people would think and how their perception of me would change if I were to put on a poor performance. I also found that in the moments where I was truly present, I never experienced any anxieties or doubt of my ability. It was just me playing my interpretation of the music as it was, not worrying how it differed from other’s interpretations.

This year I have really been able to hone in on my niche, what I’m passionate about. This whole time I’ve been pursuing the urge to perform, to be making music, but really what I was after was the ability to create a musical space or experience where I could feel completely present and free from anxiety surrounding my performances. My music and mindfulness practices started to intersect and I began exploring my relationship to music in a new way. This concert was my way of expressing this new relationship and putting it into practice. Mindfulness and music happening In the Moment.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access