Humans of the ISM | Daniel Moody, M.M. ’16

Music, Student Life, Yale School of Music

What I like about the ISM is having the chance to collaborate with other people. The ISM colloquium project I did with Emilie [Casey] and Audrey [Fernandez-Fraser] was a highlight, because it was working with other people who had such different strengths and passions. I learned so much about myself and about my own calling within music, and I think it’s because we chose a topic we were passionate about and invested in. It was a real discovery interviewing different people in different choirs and different groups here at Yale, trying to find out what meaning people bring to music making. We were surprised to find the kind of concrete answers and results that we found in the interviews.

I graduated from a conservatory, and what you do in a conservatory is sing a lot, learn your music, go to studio classes – mostly, it’s music all the time. Sometimes it’s so easy to get focused on the minutia of our busy lives and issues of technique that need to come together to make a great performance. So much of music is done without thinking about the bigger context, talking about the audience, the text, or history of a piece. Not only did our project address a lot of things I want to change about my own musical process, but I found I want to spend more time on the history, on the theory, on the overall message. We were starting to find that singing easily bridges into other realms like medicine, psychology, music therapy – it’s all connected.  It’s so easy to think that we’re in our own little world, working on our own projects, and tempting to assume we don’t have enough time to really collaborate. Knowing more about our surroundings really helps our own work, especially while at Yale and the ISM.

Daniel Moody is a second year Masters of Music student in voice. Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Daniel has nine brothers and sisters, and is a twin. He started singing in church, which grew into taking voice lessons as a teenager and eventually going into conservatory. Daniel loves church and good, quality music that helps us value ritual and sacraments.  

Interview and photo by Tara Jamali, M.A.R. ’17