Madison Spahn studied voice at Boston Conservatory at Berklee.
How did you discover your passion for the vocal arts?
I’ve been singing since before I could speak in complete sentences and performing on stage since my first production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at age four. For me, music is as natural as breathing (if not quite as easy). Even when I wasn’t sure whether I would pursue a career in music, I knew that it was too important to not be part of my life.
What is your favorite thing about performing?
For me, the best part of being an artist is creating experiences for people that they might not have even known were possible. How amazing that every audience member will interpret and experience your art differently, but the music still connects us all. To be able to say something in a way that speaks to someone’s soul, to share with them in joy, anger, fear, wonder, or grief—that feels pretty special.
What is difficult about performing?
Often, though, when people think of artists, they paint an overly rosy picture of what that means on a daily basis. Yes, there are moments of extreme fulfillment, but 90 percent of the time creative work is just that—work. I spend hours in the practice room and at the piano, even when I’m not feeling particularly inspired.
Why did you choose Boston Conservatory at Berklee?
When it came to selecting a place to pursue my master’s degree in voice performance, I wasn’t looking for the hyper-competitive, cutthroat environment that exists all too often at conservatories. Boston Conservatory at Berklee struck exactly the right balance: a school that was challenging but nurturing, a place that cared about creating good human beings in addition to successful musicians, theater artists, and dancers. The faculty are not only immensely talented artists, but also incredible people, and I truly feel like they are invested in my success. Between them and my classmates, there’s a beautifully warm and constructive environment that makes me unafraid to take artistic risks, like combining electric guitar with Mozart in a recital, writing and presenting a conference paper on women composers, world premiering avant-garde chamber operas, or conducting a symphony orchestra for the first time.
What is your favorite thing about this program?
Learning is a process that doesn’t just happen in books. At Boston Conservatory, I’ve already developed critical skills for building my artistic craft. But I’ve also gained so much by learning from others’ experiences and being allowed to explore my interests and passions without fear. And what I’ve loved most about this journey is the discovery of the unimaginable number of possible paths a career in music can take.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In 10 years, I could be singing on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera, or teaching at a university, or running a major symphony orchestra, or starting my own non-profit arts organization. The doors are wide open.