Student Spotlight: Musician Emily Rhodes
Writer / Matt Keating
Photographer / Amy Payne
“It’s a great honor to win this award and receive recognition from my community,” Rhodes says. “Winning this award really makes me realize and understand just how much love and support that I receive with my music.”
Rhodes says that it also helps her singing and song writing.
“It really helps give me confidence to keep pursuing it,” Rhodes says. “With such a great community of people, I really feel comfortable opening myself up and sharing. It also validates that I’m going down the right path and encourages me to do more. Growing up, I was always encouraged to pursue what I love to do, so I would encourage others to do the same thing and not worry too much about the future.”
Rhodes also encourages other students to work hard and stay enthusiastic.
“I think to win this award, kids just have to find out what they really love to do and keep pursuing it,” she says. “Even if others don’t believe in you right away, you must keep believing in yourself and not give up hope. I would really encourage people to pursue something that makes them happy no matter what it is.”
Rhodes, a freshman at Westfield High School, plans on pursuing a degree in business during her college years and a minor in music education or vocal music.
“After college, I want to open my own business that allows kids of all music genres to come together, and get one-on-one training but also get personal time to collaborate together,” Rhodes says. “The focus of the business being to introduce kids to many genres in a band, not just rock.”
Rhodes believes she has the ability to see what she wants to accomplish and gives it her all to achieve it.
“I’m constantly thinking of new song ideas and what music will really connect with my audience,” she says. “I think what makes me different is just how much I love performing live music.”
Rhodes also tries to find music that makes people happy or gives them a song to relate to for whatever emotion they might be feeling.
“Music can make my bad day change into a great one in a matter of two minutes,” she says. “I like to find music that can do that for other people, music that can make their day better or make them feel content.”
Rhodes is also involved in track and field and technical theatre at Westfield High School. Outside of school, she also works with a vocal and guitar coach, Austin Johnson, every week.
“I’ve been working with Austin since I was in fourth grade, and I couldn’t be more blessed to have him,” Rhodes says. “Austin has helped me really progress with my vocal confidence, as well as my overall confidence in general, which I think is very important for a musician. He has helped me learn some intense guitar songs, and has recorded most of my covers on my website.”
Rhodes also spends a lot of time blogging.
“I started my blog to talk to fellow musicians and youths in general about how I get through and how I’m starting my career in music,” Rhodes says. “But it leads to something more, and I think my blog really allowed me to open up with some of my own personal thoughts and gave me a way to express myself outside of music.”
Rhodes wants her blogs to be something that people can read and relate to.
“I want them to say, ‘I get it’ or ‘I feel the same way too,’ just so that they don’t feel alone, because no one should feel alone,” she says
Rhodes adds that she loves the way people in Westfield support each other.
“It’s a place where people, especially students, are encouraged to make their own plans and seek them out,” Rhodes says. “The whole community of Westfield is really student-based and gives us a lot of chances to do what we want to do. It also lets us focus on what we love, instead of just telling us how we should be doing something or what we should do with our lives.”