The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Student musician finds hobby in harmonies

Student musician finds hobby in harmonies

By Ivey McDaniel | Staff Writer

Junior Lauren Taylor sits in front of her piano. Taking a deep breath, she swallows the worry accompanying a long day. Taylor sits down in front of the piano, reaches for the record button on her camera, and counts down. Three, two, one.

“It helps me express how I feel about things. It makes me feel free. It’s an escape. When I sing, nothing else matters; it lets my soul free,” Taylor said.

Taylor had an early beginning in music, and is continually expanding her career as a musician. Today, it encompasses the rhythms of her life.

“I started singing when I was five years old. I literally could sing before I could talk. Music has always been in my life, I started playing the piano when I was five. I was in the kid’s choir at my church, and now I’m a worship leader. I sing and play piano for my church every Wednesday now,” Taylor said.

Taylor’s instrumental talents were more potent then her singing ability, though, which proved to shape her high school career in band.

“I enjoy being a musician and a singer. In fifth grade, I played flute in a private school setting. Singing ,then, was just a hobby. So I was encouraged to keep doing what I was doing. I can play piano, flute, percussion, and I’m teaching myself to play guitar,” she said.

This past June, Taylor uploaded a video of her singing the song “Hurt” by Christina Aguilera on Youtube in hopes of being chosen for the online America’s Got Talent search.

“I wanted to put myself out there, and I will continue to. I actually do hope to have a career [in music],” Taylor said. I have a friend connected to a record label and they’re looking into seeing if they could hire me. I think I want to be a contemporary Christian music artist. My faith is what really inspires me and drives me.”

Although Taylor wasn’t picked for the auditions, she didn’t let it hold back her singing career. Now, she is trying a more organic and loose approach to her videos.

“My first video was shot here in one of the school practice rooms. I did my hair and makeup and picked out an outfit, and I had a friend film it who had a nice camera, since it was for the America’s Got Talent audition,” she said. “Now, I just sing whenever I feel like it. When I play, I’m just having fun. I’m focusing on singing and writing my own music. I make time for it. I am just having fun and singing in my house. But for the next video, I think I’ll pay a little bit more attention to editing: maybe even make a music video.”

For Taylor, the songwriting process is a combination of feelings- both those of the private artist and the public performer. Even the introspective act of creating music is done with an eye for that moment of execution, when her music can be shared with the world.

“Sometimes, I write lyrics first, then sometimes I write music first. You know, it really just depends. I’ve had songs where I just come home and spend the day on, and finish, but other ones I spend a lot of time on,” she said. “I prefer singing in front of a live audience because you can really feel what the audience is feeling, and you can get your emotions out better when you’re in person rather than on a video. I have had experience preforming on stage, and I like that a lot more, but videos let me target a different audience that I want.”

One of the downsides to posting videos for everyone to see is that not everyone has positive things to say.

“[My parents and friends] support me, but I don’t let others get to me. I mean, everybody is going to have comments, whether they’re negative or positive. There’s always going to be haters out there. But you know, it doesn’t effect me really. If they’re going to give constructive criticism, I’ll take their advice, but it needs to be coming from a credible source. [If someone is nervous about posting their videos online] I would just say go for it, it doesn’t matter what other people think, just follow your dreams,” Taylor said.

Taylor is hoping to pursue what was once her hobby as a career. She always makes time to do what she loves, and to do so as a career would be dream-fulfillment at its best.

“If I do make this as a career, then I want to get myself out there. School comes first, especially since it’s junior year. I make time for music, basically; before school, after school. I’m shooting videos for anybody who loves music. Hopefully record labels might look into me. I also want my friends and family to see it. It helps show people what I’m passionate about,” she said.

You can view Taylor’s Youtube site at


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Student musician finds hobby in harmonies