Honours Music, 2013

SophiaEven though it’s been four years since she graduated, successfully earning a degree in Music with a focus on Piano performance, Sophia Werden Abrams still remembers how good the cookies were.  She recalls the famous amazing treats of the college fondly, and it reminds her of the good years she had at Grebel.  During her time here, you could often find her in the Atrium, nestled into one of the cozy chairs or love seats and it’s in this environment that Sophia made strong friendships and great memories. However, it was Grebel’s professors who made the greatest impact on her. The smaller class sizes meant that Sophia was able to get to know her professors and they got to know her. The bond between them is still strong and she is grateful for all of their support. The professors helped her see that she could do more than she thought; they even helped her get into a master’s program.

                When it came to continuing her education Sophia was certain that there was more to learn and she had further interest in conducting and choral music that drove her passion towards a Master’s in conducting at Memorial University in Newfoundland. For Sophia continuing her education was a new way to immerse herself in a new subject of interest, and she enjoyed the experiences that came along with it which included conducting and singing in the MUN choirs. She describes that moment when conducting when you connect with the music and the musicians - it is collaboration at play. Sophia explains that when conducting you have to be mindful of the energy you are both receiving from the performers and the energy you are giving back to them, this balance of energy can impact the way the music is performed.  She graduated with a Masters of Music, and a variety of experience to establish herself as a  teacher, conductor and performer. Which she has done incredibly well, she has toured with the National Youth Choir in 2016 in Alberta, and worked with Community Music Waterloo Region, which provided subsidized music lessons for children who would otherwise not be able to afford music lessons.

                Today Sophia is a Hamilton based conductor, conducting the Oakville Children’s Choir, as well as a teaching piano and voice. She has a passion to bring music to those around her, and she has enough experience to find the moment. Sophia explains that when teaching a child music there is usually a moment when they have grasped a concept, they recognize a technique, or are able to perform at the end of their lessons for the year. It is moments like those that are her favourite thing about teaching. Additionally Sophia is training to become a certified Andover Educator, and has an interest in Body Mapping and how it impacts the musician and ultimately the music. She brings this awareness into her lessons and makes sure that all her students are standing correctly, which prevents some injuries from occurring.

                Looking back on her time as a first-year student, new to the University of Waterloo, Sophia feels that it is important to, “Trust your instincts, do what makes you happy and seek new experiences.” It is these ideals that have lead Sophia to where she is now. Her passion for music, which is clearly visible in all that she does.