An Interview with Youna Hartgraves
Q: Tell us about how you first became involved in music
A: I began to take piano lessons when I was 6. I have been in love with music ever since.
Q: Is anyone else in your family a musician?
A: No. But they are all great music enthusiasts!
Q: Growing up, did you have any influential teachers/professors who guided you towards becoming a professional musician?
A: I have so many professors and teachers who guided me. But it would not be possible without my mom, who encouraged me to take piano lessons and supported my musical journey ever since.
Q: What is your personal teaching philosophy?
A: I believe every student is highly individual. I tailor my lesson plans according to the students’ specific needs.
Q: You are currently working towards your doctorate degree at UNT- what has been the best thing you’ve learned during your studies there?
A: My DMA studies at UNT has been one of the best experiences of my life. My overall understanding in music and pedagogy has been deepened and widely influenced by the professors there.
Q: You have done several opera performances around the world- who has been your favorite character to portray and why?
A: I had a tremendous honor of portraying the role of Susan B. Anthony in the opera The Mother of Us All by Virgil Thomson. She is a wonderful role model for all women.
Q: Besides opera, what other genres or styles do you enjoy singing?
A: I love musical theater songs. I love singing hymns at church every Sunday too.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a voice/piano teacher?
A: I love that I have become an advocate of music for young students. It is a tremendous privilege that comes with great responsibility.
Q: When you are not teaching, what do you like to do in your spare time?
A: Watch a movie with my husband and relax for the day.
To see more about Youna, see her teacher page.
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