Audrey Lord

Sixteen year old Audrey Lord first began at PCM in 2013, as a student in the Young Musicians program with Sharon Weed. Over the last ten years, she’s taken strings musicianship, Suzuki violin, and Intermediate Violin Ensemble, and has studied violin with Sharon Harman since 2014. She currently plays second violin in the PYSO Philharmonic and is on the varsity tennis team at her high school.

We recently interviewed Audrey about her early music studies, her interests outside of music, and key takeaways from learning music. Read more below.

Young woman poses with her violin

PCM: You first began at PCM in the Young Musicians program. What do you remember from those classes? How do you think these classes were helpful with how you approached learning the violin?
Audrey Lord: I remember every week we would go to class. We would play games using the drums and sing songs. I was with Ms. Sharon [Weed] and I had a lot of my friends in that class, so that was really fun. I’m still friends with them, too; I see them around at PYSO orchestra. In class, we also learned how to read notes and different rhythms, which was helpful and gave me a head start with music theory.

PCM: How did you decide you wanted to play violin?
AL: My mom decided for me [lol]. Both my older siblings went to PCM, too. My brother played guitar and my sister played piano. Sometimes we would play together, but now I mostly play with friends in orchestra and in chamber music at school.

PCM: What has been the most valuable thing you have learned from studying music?
AL: I feel like it’s kind of been an escape for me. It helps me forget any worries going on. I get to play music and just focus on that.

PCM: How often do you practice?
AL: Right now, I’m on varsity tennis and am playing tennis about three hours a day. So I don’t have too much time, except for on the weekends. But when it’s not tennis season, I play violin almost everyday – maybe five times a week.

PCM: Do you have a favorite piece that you go to when you want to decompress?
AL: I mean, it’s always fun to just play the piece I’ve been previously playing since I’ve already mastered it. It’s nice to just play and not have to work on it.

PCM: Are you learning pieces outside of classical music?
AL: I love Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo. Sometimes if there’s a pop song I’m into, I’ll pull up the sheet music and play it with my sister. Even though she doesn’t practice piano right now, she can still play. So sometimes we do that together.

Young woman poses sitting

PCM: What has been a favorite musical memory or achievement?
AL: Well, last summer, PYSO went to New York to play in Carnegie Hall. It was cool to perform in the hall, which is beautiful and also huge. It was really great to sightsee and hang out with all the girls on the trip; we went to a lot of museums, took a ferry to the Statue of Liberty, and walked around Times Square. It was really fun. Also, we got to be away from our parents for a little bit and have some independence [lol].

PCM: What do you like most about being in PYSO?
AL: Playing in PYSO is a completely different experience from just playing solo pieces. It’s fun to hear all the different instruments playing together because at my school, we don’t have winds or brass. It’s just strings. So it’s nice to work together with them. And also, I get to see all my friends there.

PCM: What has been a favorite piece you’ve played in PYSO?
AL: Two years ago we played Sleeping Beauty by Tchaikovsky. We also played a Harry Potter medley, which was super fun.

PCM: So Ms. Sharon said you will be traveling to Italy with PYSO this coming summer. What are you most looking forward to?
AL: I don’t really know! We’re going to a lot more cities this trip. With New York, we were just in Manhattan. But in Italy, we’re going to have a lot of stops along the way, like in Cremona. I’ve never been there so I’m very excited. Also, my brother lives in Milan right now and we’re going to stop there too. So I’ll get to see him.

Young woman poses with her violin

PCM: Earlier, you mentioned playing tennis. What are some of your other non musical activities and hobbies?
AL: Well, I love art. All things art. I love to do calligraphy. I crochet and I knit a lot. I also like to paint with watercolor, which is very relaxing. This year I’ve started taking photography at school for the first time. And last year I did ceramics and really enjoyed that. I also really like to travel and ski.

PCM: If you could have coffee with anyone, who would it be and why?
AL: I already mentioned Taylor Swift, so I’ll choose someone else. Probably Roger Federer. He’s my all-time favorite tennis player. I watched him play at Wimbledon three years ago and it was just a crazy experience. I think it’d be really cool to talk to him about what he’s experienced in the tennis world.

PCM: Do you see some overlap with playing tennis and playing violin?
AL: I think so. In tennis, my strength is a lot of strategy. I’ve always tried to play smart and use my head, which I think translates to practicing violin and learning a new piece. Especially with how I approach memorization. Repetition is also important with both tennis and learning music.

PCM: Anything else you’d like to share?
AL: I don’t know. I think if there are people out there who are thinking about trying to play an instrument, I definitely think you should go for it. Even if you already play one, maybe try playing a new instrument because that’s always fun. I played cello in middle school orchestra, because there was a beginning level. And that was a really good experience – totally different from the violin. But I think it’s always good to try something new. To put yourself out there.

PCM: So you’re glad that your mom chose violin for you?
AL: Definitely. I don’t think I would want to carry a cello around everywhere now.