Name: Molly Miller
Position: Event Coordinator
Hometown: Lexington, KY
How long have you been with MFA?
I was a Seasonal Event Coordinator in the fall of 2011 and returned full time in April 2013.
What is your educational background? Where did you go to school, and what did you study?
I graduated with a BA in Arts Administration from the University of Kentucky in 2011. Though I grew up with a music background, I became interested in art history in college and ended up graduating with a focus in Art History and minors in Music History and Music Theory.
What is your musical background? (What instruments have you played? Played in groups or bands? Just enjoy music in general?)
I played the piano for about nine years growing up, but in the sixth grade I picked up the flute, which ended up being what I stuck with through college. I’ve played with ensembles of all shapes and sizes- concert bands, orchestras, community bands. However, marching band was always my favorite!
What kind of music do you like to listen to?
As my Spotify followers can attest, my taste in music is very broad. I’m talking Iggy Azalea to They Might Be Giants to Patty Loveless kind of broad. However, music with bluegrass roots and a modern feel is what I’d say I listen to the most. My current playlist is full of Punch Brothers, Sundy Best and the new Nickel Creek album. I like Chris Thile, can you tell?
Why is music important to you?
Music was always a big part of my upbringing- I have early memories of singing and playing music at church and family gatherings, but mostly just around the house. You know how some people just ‘get’ math or chemistry? Well, I certainly wasn’t one of those, but music- specifically music theory- always came naturally to me. Music will always be the thing that makes sense to me when everything else doesn’t. (Is that on a bumper sticker yet? It should be.)
Why do you believe in music education?
One experience that was instrumental in shaping my education was attending the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts in 2006. The summer music program immersed me in a community of artists and lead me to my future career path of Arts Administration. Now I feel lucky to go to work every day for an organization that provides similar experiences for thousands of students from across the country every year.
What sort of things do you do in your free time (hobbies)?
I currently serve on the board of the Central Indiana UK Alumni Club as well as the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Indianapolis, so a lot of my free time is spent coordinating fundraisers and networking events for those organizations. However, if it’s basketball season, you can probably find me at a sports bar cheering on my Kentucky Wildcats!
(Career path) What led you to Music for All?
When I graduated from UK in May of 2011, I interned with the Kentucky Governor’s School for the Arts that summer before picking up and moving to Indianapolis to work for Music for All during the fall season. Once I got settled in Indianapolis, I realized it was the place for me! I started a position at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis the week after my contract with Music for All ended in November of 2011. In April of 2013, I accepted an offer to return to MFA full time and just celebrated my one-year anniversary.
What do you enjoy the most about working for Music for All?
I’d have to say the most rewarding part of my job is the opportunity to give back to an organization that provided me with such positive experiences as a student. Reminding myself that someone else’s hard work is what allowed me those opportunities is what gets me through those long event days.
The best part about the day-to-day, though, is definitely my co-workers. A lot of the time it feels more like a big family or group of friends who get to hang out and be productive together five days a week, which makes me feel incredibly blessed.
What is your favorite Music for All event, and why?
This is a tough one! Now that I’ve gone through every event, I think Summer Symposium is my all-around favorite. It’s so rewarding to see the bonds that are created in just a week between students from across the country. However, Grand Nationals will always hold a special place in my heart—it’s an incredible feeling to be on the field during our Finals awards ceremony.
What’s one interesting thing about you that some may not be aware of?
I can speak Italian! My last semester of college was spent studying abroad in Florence, Italy. I was there for about five months, studying art history and giving tours of the San Lorenzo cathedral. It was an incredible experience and I can’t wait until I get the chance to visit again.