Teacher brings her love of voice into the classroom
By Maddie Blankley
Heather Lawson works as an adjunct professor at Campbellsville University, all while developing the younger music community through vocal and piano lessons and still performing in shows.
Lawson’s life has been filled with music in different ways since she was born, which is what made her want to pursue a career in it.
“I cannot remember a time when music didn’t exist in my life. My mom, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were always singing and playing instruments. It’s always been a part of my life,” Lawson said.
Lawson started her professional musical training at 10 years old by taking lessons from a vocal coach. At 15 she joined an all-girls choir, and began receiving vocal training from professor Nancy Cron at Western Kentucky University.
Lawson worked with Cron all through high school and into college when she decided to study vocal performance at WKU.
“Ms. Cron and Dr. [Paul] Hondorp at Western [Kentucky University] believed in me and guided me to be a better musician and person,” said Lawson.
After receiving her bachelor’s degree, Lawson decided to make the move to New York City to pursue her masters and a career in performance.
While Lawson had the talent and the drive, she found the performance world in New York to be challenging and ultimately left the city after two years.
“After I left New York, I wasn’t sure I wanted to perform anymore. I took two years off before finishing my master’s and took a corporate job as a manager,” Lawson said.
She accepted several promotions and worked in the same office for three years, but never felt truly fulfilled.
“After three years and a promotion on the line, I had a decision to make: stay in the corporate world or fully commit to music. I decided to take the plunge and they pay cut and go back to music,” said Lawson.
Lawson went back to school and finished her master’s and made music her career, but instead of performing like she thought she wanted to do in college, she opened her own studio.
“It took me a long time to figure out what success in music/performance was for me and what I wanted to do with my skill. I never wanted to teach when I was an undergrad, but I love it now,” said Lawson.
Lawson’s studio is in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, which has allowed her to stay close to her family and friends while still being able to perform and use her skill.
She offers vocal lessons for any age, as well as piano lessons and has recently gotten her Kindermusik license and began teaching that in her studio as well.
Along with teaching, Lawson performs with local theatre groups and started the Elizabethtown Women’s Choir.
Lawson says that going back to music and opening her studio full time was the best decision she has ever made.
“I have always been drawn back to music because I believe in its healing power for myself and others,” she said. “I believe that even though not everyone goes on to be on Broadway or cut an album that they can be happier and more whole from music. I love helping to bring that into people’s lives.”