Spotlight on creative Independent Studies: Bridget Slone ’16

Name: Bridget Slone

Major: Music & CSD

Hometown: Royal Oak, Mich.

Describe your I.S.

I’m trying to write the best music I can for my senior recital, because you never have enough time to write music just the way you want it. There’s this saying, I don’t know who said it, but it’s something like: “There’s never enough time for music in life but there is more than enough music for life.”

The next body of work that I will be composing for my I.S. is gonna be about experiencing sound in a different way. With my CSD background and research with cochlear implants, I know that people who are deaf do not experience music the same way we would. Even, after a person receives a cochlear implant, they do not hear sound the same way we do. I’m going to write a piece trying to explore sound in a way that will hopefully encourage the audience to think about it beyond just what we experience with our ears.

What motivated you to choose to write on this subject?

My inspiration came last year when I was doing research for my first I.S. where I was analyzing whether or not music therapy was incorporated into therapy provided for individuals who receive cochlear implants. In short, when an individual who is deaf receives cochlear implants, their brain has to be trained how to hear. They have to go through a lot of intense therapy so they can understand the sounds and speech that they now have access to with their cochlear implant(s). Given my background in music and what I’ve learned about music and the brain, I examined if music therapy was part of the therapy provided to these individuals. In that study, I became really interested in writing a piece that could be pleasing to individuals with cochlear implants and what that would sound like. That’s the inspiration and hope for this next piece I am working on.

What inspired you to major in music and CSD?

Well, for CSD, I took the intro class and it was really interesting. Dr. Don Goldberg is a very inspiring professor, and the class left me feeling like I could be something great someday if I was willing to put the work in. So I stuck with it and I really liked it. I’m looking to go more the medical route but still work with ears and cochlear implants. And for music, it has always been my passion. I remember as a little kid, before I could talk, I would sit at the piano and just play around and I loved how it sounded. Music has always been a huge part of my life. I also love writing music so that’s kind of how I became inspired, along with all of the amazing teachers here helping me believe I could do it.

If you could be any kitchen appliance, what you be and why?

I guess I would be a mixer. The big Kitchen Aid things that you use to spin ingredients together. Because who doesn’t love cookie dough?

Any future plans?

It may sound a little silly, but I would love to become a doctor. So right now, the big goal is for me to pursue an M.D./ Master of Public Policy. There is a lot of growing evidence that music can change one’s brain. I would like to change the way care is provided to patients and hopefully start to incorporate more music-based services in therapy and other areas.