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Alumni Spotlight: Sehwheat Manna

Updated: 2 days ago

In celebration of our 60th anniversary, we will feature NSMS alumni as part of our Alumni Spotlight series throughout 2020.

Who were your teachers?

Julie Baskinger, Amy Glennon, Rebecca Pennington, Marvin Blickenstaff

What is a favorite NSMS memory?

I remember feeling warm walking through the building doors and immediately being washed over with the sounds of teachers and students playing in different rooms. Sitting in class, enjoying watching and listening to my teachers and classmates play. Recital days, the anticipation and relief of a performance. Writing for the annual composition contests and playing my pieces during recitals.


What are you doing now?

I completed my undergraduate studies in 2019 and am living in NJ. I work as a lab technician at Roche. In my free time I enjoy being with my family, composing, and learning anything related to astrobiology, movies.


What role does your education at NSMS play in your life today?

Music is a huge part of how I interact with the world and I believe that it is a language that everyone can leverage, if they had the opportunity extended to them. I'm very grateful that my mentors at NSMS gave me their patient, constant support from such an early age. This was just as important as the technical/academic teachings. To be in an educational environment less focused on grades but still invested in student growth was a valuable experience. Over the years, I've learned to view music not just as recreation but another aspect of communication, like writing. I don't think that this is encouraged enough in our education, but I hope to help change that approach in the future. And so, NSMS has largely helped shape my values on equitable musical education.

Thank you, Sehwheat. We agree that music is essential and must be made accessible to all.


Are you an NSMS Alum? We'd love to hear from you. Please complete this alumni connection form.


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The New School for Music Study is a division of The Frances Clark Center for Keyboard Pedagogy, a non-profit 501 c(3) institution.