Meghan Jolliffe ’22 on finding the fun in music-making

Meghan Joliffe

The SFCM graduate voice student continued to rediscover her love of singing at the Conservatory.

In her own words, Meghan Joliffe ’22 discusses how she learned to enjoy singing again after burnout.

After my undergrad, I was musically and artistically burnt out. Up until that point, I had never taken a break from music and had been studying very seriously for a long time. I was so bogged down with my own critical voice that there was no light in music-making anymore. It took me a while to get back to it and know that music is what I want to do with the rest of my life. Figuring out how to be critical of yourself in a way that pushes you forward—that process was really challenging. I needed to figure out why I was singing.

In the years after my undergrad, I worked a full-time job as an HR admin at a pharmaceutical company. I did a lot of community theater during that time, and I sang in some professional opera companies. I wanted to save money for grad school and also avoid the feelings of burnout again. At the end of undergrad, I felt that I no longer wanted to sing, so I spent a lot of time making music fun again. I sang with community choirs and local musical theater groups and chose to make music for myself. That was really important.

When I was doing auditions for grad school, SFCM was the place that gave me the same kind of energy as I got from the community-based experiences I had in my years off. The energy at SFCM—on top of liking the program, the teacher, and everything else—that intangible vibe was present is why I decided to come to the Conservatory.

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