top of page

TGS Student Organizes and Hosts Professional Musician as Music Club Guest Speaker

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

LTWLA participant, AJohnnie Simms, a junior at The Graham School, showed true initiative by requesting help to find a guest speaker to speak to his Music Club members. Through connections via Lead The Way, AJohnnie was able to invite Miss Mindy Smith, a professional musician and serious lover of music. She came prepared for an open discussion about her life and shared the story of her education and career pathways while the students listened with rapt attention. 

She highlighted the fact that she has spent her whole life in the pursuit of the art of music, either as a student, teacher, tutor, or player. Her talents range from piano playing and teaching, to voice lessons, and writing for Broadway directors. Her pride in her life’s work was palpable, and the students and staff alike had questions galore, which she happily answered. She said most of her growth and expansion was centered around boundaries and knowing her own worth. When faced with choices between being paid appropriately or doing a task that could grow her network, she had to weigh the factors consciously and with intention. 

Mindy’s main prerogative was to impress upon the Music Club members and guest attendees the importance of getting out there, boots on the ground. The concept of meeting people in your field and making lasting connections was heavily encouraged. She also stated that sometimes in life, people just have to take chances. She reported that she sold all of her possessions to move to New York City and attend New York University (NYU). Doing that was pivotal for her life, and it was a wonderful lesson for the Music Club members to hear. AJohnnie was thrilled for this insight because he himself has aspirations to go to NYU for creating music. 

When asked about the role of social media in her success, Mindy responded that word-of-mouth advertising has been her greatest boon for building clientele. This reiterated the importance of actively talking with people, meeting them face to face, and showing up to events. AJohnnie graciously thanked Mindy for her time, and he and his peers left the event with a fresh perspective of making one’s way in the music industry.


bottom of page