Welcome to another Faculty Spotlight Friday! This week, meet Maria Ramsey. Maria teaches violin and piano at Artspace and also helps out in the office.
How did you get into music?
My parents are musicians so I grew up with a lot of music in my life. Because I saw them playing instruments, it became a normal part of life in my eyes and there was never really a question of whether I was going to do it or not. I got started by playing songs by ear on the piano. As I got older I always wanted to add more instruments, so I started violin in elementary school, followed by flute, French horn, and then a few others…
Why do you make music? What do you love about it?
I love the way music can make us feel things: how a certain piece of music can make me feel incredibly happy, nostalgic, powerful, or otherwise. I’m constantly amazed by music’s ability to provoke emotions. I also love the people I’ve met through music and the experiences I’ve had coming together with a group to collaborate on creating something beautiful.
Do you have any favorite musical experiences or memories?
So many! First, I had the opportunity in college to co-direct an early music choir. It was a great experience for me musically, and also socially. It was an incredibly kind group of people, and I loved the welcoming– and often goofy–space we were able to create together.
I also got to sing at Carnegie Hall shortly after I graduated from college in a big choral concert. A particularly memorable incident from that concert involved running offstage and up to the balcony in during the performance to sing with a children’s choir in order to “save the show,” in the words of the composer. I’m not sure if the situation was really that dire, but it was rather exciting anyway!
Any creative projects you’re working on currently, or that you’ve completed recently?
I’m working on lots of creative projects currently! In addition to being a musician, I’m also an artist, and I’ve been designing some greeting cards to sell on Etsy and at craft fairs. I also have an illustrated book of children’s poetry in the works…
What’s one thing you love doing besides making music or art?
I love cooking, especially fresh local vegetables.