Life On Cassette

My name is Melanie Williams. I’m a soon-to-be graduate of Shepherd University. I will be receiving my B.S. in Communication & New Media.

I’d like to tell you about my senior capstone.

The past three months were full of blogs, Adobe Audition, research, technical malfunctions, sweat and tears.

Coming into the senior capstone course, I didn’t know what I wanted to accomplish. When in doubt, I always start from the beginning.

When I was younger, my life was on cassette. I had a hand-me-down collection of various musical artists to compliment several recitals and plays I participated in throughout early childhood.

I also had auditory processing disorder, a challenge that 5% of young children come across. Basically, my brain and ears didn’t coordinate. It was embarrassing and kids picked on me for it.

I remember going to the audiologist, sitting in a giant glass box, wearing over-sized headphones, and hitting a red button for every time I heard a beep.

My mother loved playing piano and came up with the idea to teach me in hopes that it would train my ears. I showed quick improvement and ever since then, I’ve been hooked on music. It’s my therapy and passion.

With this in mind, I began my project knowing two things: I want to write music and I want to support others who rely on music to help get them through life’s various challenges.

My director, Professor Matt Kushin, really helped me sow my ideas together. childhood songThe result: a campaign for The American Music Therapy Association. I wrote a short album and ordered customized wristbands. For a sneak peak of this album, find me on or follow this link.

For every donation of $5 or more the donor received a CD and wristband.

In the end, I more than doubled my original donation goal of $100 but didn’t meet my $300 goal. I donated the ending total of $225.00 to the American Music Therapy Association on April 26th, 2015.

donationproof  Prior to the capstone class, I was feeling rather unprepared for life post-college. The entire process was stressful. However, I truly feel I realized my potential and proved myself to not only my professors but my peers as well.

The final presentation was the best part of the experience. My poster turned out very nice. ( check it out: Melanie_Final Poster) My colleagues and I were able to strut our stuff, hang out, and eat brownies.

Crossing the finish line is great but crossing the finish line with a bunch of peers who went through the same experience, that’s even better.