CLARA RAWLINGS

Piano Mentor

Clara started playing piano at age 6, and has been playing ever since. Throughout her life, music has always been a huge inspiration, and a great way for her to express herself. The moment it all clicked for her was when she was able to use the skills she had been taught to learn one of her favorite classical pieces on her own. She draws inspiration from all across the board- from pianist Jon Schmidt to composer Michael Giacchino to indie folk artist The Tallest Man on Earth. Having had wonderful mentors teaching her in the past, and a sister who went through music school, Clara feels inspired to help budding pianists and artists find their own ways of playing, and giving them the tools so that they, too, can be the driving force in their musical adventures. In the future, Clara will continue to learn and play, and will hopefully be able to incorporate her music into her career path in Psychology.

Tell us a little bit about your musical background; when you first started, the first experience that made you want to become a musician.

I first started playing piano when I was about six years old. I wanted to play so that I could be like my older sister, she was such a big influence on me. I think she was honestly one of the driving factors in me pursuing music for so long. When I was twelve, I snuck one of her piano books and learned a song that she had played, and for me, that was one of my biggest accomplishments- to take the skills I had been taught and using them to emulate someone I looked up to so much.

Who are some of your favorite artists?

I definitely love classical and romantic pianists – Claude Debussy is one of my favorite composers of all time. I also love Jon Schmidt, Michael Giacchino, The Tallest Man on Earth, Vampire Weekend, Paul Simon, Hall and Oates, Billy Joel, and Mac DeMarco (among numerous others).

Who are some of your biggest inspirations, musical, and non-musical?

Absolutely my family is a huge source of inspiration to me. Another inspiration is Kristian Matsson.

If you could follow in any musician’s footsteps, who would it be?

Kristian Matsson. Definitely not the most widely known or acclaimed musician, but his work (under the stage name The Tallest Man on Earth) is so full of truth and meaning, and stems so strongly from his own experiences and personal life, it is something I try to emulate all of the time. He didn’t start of at all thinking he would be a full time musician, releasing songs on the side, just for the sake of making music that he loves. That turned into numerous albums, beautiful songs, and inspiring words. His ability to speak in metaphors and stories continues to astound me.

If you had ability to pick anybody to collaborate with musically, who would it be?

Honestly, I would love to collaborate with Billy Joel. I grew up listening to his music, and to take part in his songwriting talent and musical legacy would be a dream come true.

What are you plans for the future of your music?

In the future, I hope to develop more fully my own style of writing and playing. I hope to inspire students to find what they love about music and let it lead them where it will. I want to use my knowledge of music to aid me in my career path with psychology, and continue writing and playing for as long as possible.