Faculty Spotlight: Jen Hoover
What's your main instrument?
I consider voice to be my main instrument. I grew up singing with a musical family from a young age and when I decided to pursue music degrees, I chose to focus on developing my favorite instrument of all, my voice. I love making music in many ways but something about singing always has been very personal and special to me.
What's your musical origin story? What lit the spark for you?
Growing up in a very musical family, it was inevitable for me to pursue music at some level. I saw my dad perform and lead worship at our church from a young age and always wanted to do what he did. I got involved with choir, strings, and band in elementary school and I was hooked. I couldn’t tell you exactly one moment that lit the spark for me because I always felt (and still do) that music is part of me on the deepest level. It’s in my soul.
Can you share a good gig story?
It wasn’t a gig but I had a really big performance at a singing competition and was so sick leading up to it. I had planned and practiced for months only to have my voice all but cut out on me due to a sinus infection. The night before, my voice teacher who was traveling with us, bought a humidifier for our hotel room along with some extra medicine and cough drops, etc. As a broke grad student, I was so grateful! I was able to get my voice together just enough for the performance. I didn’t win the competition but I will never forget the kindness and dedication of that teacher. That’s the kind of teacher I always want to be.
Tell us about your practice routine and share some practice tips.
My biggest practice tips come from those who instructed me. I was always told that many small practice sessions - as short as 5 minutes - can help build understanding and reinforce learning better than a one-hour cram session. It’s definitely proven true! Drills and muscle memory are the next advice I would give. If you have a tough song or passage, take time to drill it 3-5 times slowly and get it right before speeding up. In less than 5 minutes you can master it (in small bits). Patience and consistency are two keys to effective practice. And if you miss a day, just try again tomorrow. 🙂
What drew you to the Music House team?
I was looking for a fun & vibrant place to teach with plenty of students and Music House fit the bill! I love being able to connect and make music with students in many ways from lessons to jams. It’s been a lot of fun and super rewarding.
Anything else you'd like to add?
It’s never too early or too late to start or continue your musical education! Music is for everyone and it is so good for the soul. If you have always wanted to try that instrument or sing that favorite song, go for it. Music brings us together and it is truly a universal language. Time & energy spent making music is always well spent.
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