Student Spotlight: Question and Answer

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Jennifer Werner


Sophomore Abigail Erdman, a Radford Universiy music major is passionate about the performing arts and her desire to help others.


Q. When did you first start singing? 

A. “I have been singing in church since I was really, really little but I first started really singing when I went to a performing arts  specialty school while I was in high school.”


Q. Do you have any musical talents other than singing?

A. “I play the piano but I got into the music program here as a clarinet major and then switched to voice. I can play the saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, and bass clarinet.”


Q. How long have you been competing in pageants?

A. “I started competing when I was a sophomore in high school and now I’m a sophomore in college, so it has been about four years.”


Q. Did you start competing in Miss America preliminaries or did you start with another pageant system?

A. “Yeah, I started with Miss America Outstanding Teen preliminaries and won two titles through that program. Now I’m competing in Miss America preliminaries in the Miss division.”


Q. When you came to Radford did you join a music fraternity? If so, how is that going?

A. “Yeah, I did! It’s really great. Mu Phi Epsilon is not as big as any of the social sororities or fraternities so we’re all really close.”


Q. What are your career plans when you graduate? How will you utilize your major?

A. “I’m actually a music therapy major right now. So, once I graduate I’ll do six months of an internship for music therapy. After that, I’ll take a test to get my certification to become a practicing music therapist.”


Q. Once you get your certification, do you want to practice locally in the Radford area or do you plan on going elsewhere?

A. “I’ve really thought about going to Toronto, oddly enough, because there is a huge music therapy center there.”


Q. When you become a musical therapist, will you focus primarily on singing or will you be helping others with musical instruments as well?

A. “Music therapy can vary from anything. It’s basically whatever your client needs. It can  help them with any kind of goal, even those that aren’t musical. You might be singing with them, you might be listening to music with them, you may even play guitar with them. Guitar is pretty popular in music therapy. I really want to help children with developmental disabilities, especially, in the autism spectrum but the highest need is for musical therapists working with the elderly of hospice patients.